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TPI Named Best of the Best Agency & Top Host Agency in Canada at Sandals Awards 2018

 

Travel Professionals International (TPI) was once again named the Top Host Agency in Canada along with being named as one of the Top 10 Agencies Worldwide at the 17th annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) Awards held this past weekend at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.

During the STAR Gala awards, TPI received many accolades including being named ‘Best of the Best Agency’ thanks to high sales productivity from its independent advisors between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018, and additionally, received Regional recognition by being awarded Western Canada Top Butler Elite Travel Agency and Western Canada Top Sandals Travel Agency award.

“Being recognized with awards such as these truly shows the strength of the TPI organization and the commitment our advisors have to supporting our preferred partners.” Said Zeina Gedeon, CEO, who was on hand to receive these coveted awards. “Our Advisors work hard every day to find the perfect vacation for their clients, and their commitment to Sandals and Beaches is really is impressive. This year, as an organization we put a heightened focus around the Sandals Certification program and we covered the registration fees for our Advisors who wanted to grow their knowledge for the Sandals and Beaches brands!  Clearly, continuing education has paid off, it’s amazing to be recognized with so many awards as we head into our 25th year of business” added Gedeon.

List of awards received at the STAR Gala Awards:

  • Best of the Best Agency Recognition Award
    • Travel Time TPI
  • Chairman’s Royal Club Members:
    • Lois Barbour
    • Kim Hartlen
  • Top Butler Travel Agency
  • Top Sandals Travel Agency
  • Top Host Travel Agency
  • Top Sandals Travel Agency
    • Kim Hartlen Travel
  • Top Ten Travel Agencies

 

Lois Barbour of Travel Time TPI and Kim Hartlen of Kim Harlen Travel TPI, were both named to the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club, an honour reserved for the world’s top performing agents. Additionally, Lois Barbour was named Best of the Best Agency and Kim Hartlen Travel was named top Sandals Travel Agency for outstanding sales performance.

TPI IGNITES CHANGE at their Annual Conference

Travel Professionals International (TPI) – Canada’s leading home-based travel company and Virtuoso Member, welcomed over 240 of their Advisors, Guests and Supplier Partners to their conference last week on board the Norwegian Getaway. “This year’s conference theme – IGNITE CHANGE – was to highlight the many positive changes that TPI has made this past year, as well as to inspire our network to Ignite Change and evolve their business, and set new goals for themselves,” said Zeina Gedeon, CEO.

Gedeon officially kicked off the conference with an outline of all the enhancements that TPI is investing, organizing and innovating to Ignite Change in the company. Gedeon spoke about the introduction of self-invoicing, bilingual TPI website, TPI e-commerce store, along with many more enhanced services offered to assist our advisors with their business needs, which will ensure that TPI remains the market leader in the Home Based space in Canada.

Keynote Speaker, Sandra McLemore challenged the attendees to look at where they wanted their business to be with her “Number in the Circle” keynote, as well as sessions revolving around Social Media, Finding Luxury Clients offline, Finding your Brilliance just to name a few.

 

Camille Olivere, Senior Vice President, Sales for Norwegian Cruise Line, made a special announcement onboard, congratulating TPI as being named NCL’s Canadian Host Agency of the Year Partner.

 

Other highlights of the conference include:

  • #TPIGIVESBACK.  TPI advisors, partners and staff collected donations of school supplies and reading materials were donated to 9 public schools in Tortola, BVI.
  • TPI announced their new corporate charity, Jack.org; Canada’s only charity training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health in every province and territory. TPI raised almost $14,000 last week and many initiatives will be taking place over the next year to support this grassroots initiative.
  • Introduction of a TPI Mentoring program which will help new advisors gear up their travel business but also to help and support existing advisors reach the next level
  • Velocity Reward program updates including enhancements and simplification of the program that has paid out $123,455 for FY18
  • Announcement for all upcoming TPI Reward Trips as well as TPI’s exclusive STEP Fams to Australia and Cambodia.

“Our Annual Conference is one of the best places to meet and get up-to-date information on the most important happenings in our industry and our company. We ensured that our valued advisors have the chance to not just educate themselves but meet with our supplier partners and head office team, additionally, we added on sessions directly related to the business entrepreneur, all of which is essential information to Igniting Change in our business”. Said Gedeon

In 2019, TPI will be celebrating their 25th year in business, Morris Chia Executive Chairman stated “In 1994, our concept and vision for this company came to fruition and TPI was founded. I am thankful every moment for what we have accomplished together as a team.” TPI is looking ahead to a year of record sales growth, as well as an increased focus on marketing and training, along with continuing its close relationships with travel partners.

Klassen at TPI brings home the Gold!

Travel Professionals International (TPI) is proud to announce that our advisor Kelly Klassen was recognized at the Palace PRO Awards Gala with the Gold Crown award, the ceremony was held in Cancun at The Grand Moon Place.

“On behalf of all of TPI, I would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Kelly on achieving this great honour,” said Morris Chia, Executive Chairman, TPI. “It is wonderful that Kelly’s hard work and commitment to her clients has been recognized. She is very deserving of this prestigious award and we are so proud of all she has accomplished.”

“It was such an incredible honour to be awarded for with Gold Crown status with Palace Resorts this year! I had many goals for myself and this was one of them. However, I could not have achieved this status without my fantastic clients who put their trust in me yearly to plan memorable vacations for them “said Kelly.

 

Interested in joining TPI? We can take your business to new heights. With 800+ Travel Advisors across the country, we’ve established the assets you need in the travel industry for success

 

Meet TPI’s new national training manager

Travel Professional International (TPI) has appointed Emilyn Salvador as the company’s new national training manager.

Salvador will be based in Winnipeg and will report directly to Amy Losics, Director of Operations. Salvador has been with TPI for over 18 years and has most recently been an integral member of the company’s Inside Sales team. Salvador will work to ensure that TPI advisors are getting the highest quality of training and development to meet all their needs and requirements.

She takes on her new role effective Sept. 1.

“As we move in our 25th year of business we need to continuously ensure that our valued advisors are supported in their business needs as well as their education needs, we are continuously evolving our offering to make sure we are on top of our game and our product and support offering,” said Zeina Gedeon, CEO. “The addition of this role now brings our support team to +50, the largest support team in the Canadian home based travel space.”

Salvador can be reached at esalvador@tpi.ca.

TPI at 25: continued focus on strong partnerships, marketing

 

An increased focus on marketing and training, along with continuing its close relationships with travel partners, will mark Travel Professionals International’s 25th anniversary in 2019.

 

The travel agency network welcomed its top travel partners to an exclusive event in Toronto last night, welcoming representatives from air and cruise lines, tour operators, resorts and tourism boards to thank them for their ongoing support.“This is the first time that we’ve formally celebrated our partners and it’s great to be in the room and see familiar faces,” said Colton Chia, TPI’s director of partnerships. “We’re coming up on our 25th anniversary in 2019 and we’re excited to celebrate together going into that year.”

 

TPI President Morris Chia said that the company will continue to build its management team to “ensure that our focus is relevant to our advisors,” including the hiring of a dedicated training manager. Marketing has also been a main focus for the business in 2018, explained CEO Zeina Gedeon, adding that TPI’s new marketing platform was her biggest highlight for the year. “We implemented it in 2017 but really perfected it this year. It has significantly saved our advisors a lot of time and looking ahead, we’ll have more technological enhancements to make their lives much easier.”

 

TPI also recently began accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, a concept which has been embraced mostly by younger travellers, Gedeon said, adding that one traveller used Bitcoin to book a $75,000vacation to Asia.“We’ve had a lot of small ones (Bitcoin bookings) but that was our biggest – it was a big trip for him and his family,” she said.

 

“We’re going to have a great 2019 – and it’s all because of our wonderful partners and advisors!” Gedeon added.

Bookings using bitcoin (what is it, anyway?) create new TPI client base

Bitcoin isn’t the only crypto-currency out there, but it’s the best known. You might have heard of it, but like 99.9% of people, you’re not sure what it is. In the travel industry, organizations including TPI have started accepting bitcoin, and just a few weeks ago the host agency processed $75,000 worth of bitcoin bookings.

“It is a whole new world! As with everything, we need to evolve and progress and accepting bitcoin was a natural step for TPI,” says TPI CEO Zeina Gedeon.

“Our advisors have such diverse customers that this was a no-brainer. We support our advisors and this is what their customers are asking for, and we are very happy to say that a couple of weeks ago we processed over $75,000 in bitcoin bookings.”

TPI announced last month that the booking agent, Carine Taylor, is an eight-year TPI veteran based in Ottawa. “I was excited when I contacted this client, who has been a client of mine for a while, and suggested to him to use his bitcoins for his upcoming trip,” said Taylor. “It was an easy and simple transaction and my client is pleased to be TPI’s first client to use cryptocurrency. We will absolutely continue using bitcoin for all future travels.”

TPI first announced that it would be accepting bitcoin as a form of payment back in May to provide more payment options to its advisors.

On meeting the needs of its advisors and customers, CEO Zeina Gedeon said: “Offering travellers another way to pay for their vacations opens up so many more avenues for them. Our cryptocurrency clients can now shop from the vast array of vacation options, including all of the Virtuoso products available at TPI, as well as receive top-notch, personalized service from their TPI Travel Advisor. It’s a win-win for our network and for our clients.”

In a follow-up interview with Sphere, Gedeon said TPI does not handle the bitcoin transactions itself. Instead, they are done by a third-party to minimize risk.

The booking was from an existing TPI client, “who now has told his friends and we have attracted a completely different client base,” says Gedeon.

So what is bitcoin? It’s digital money and it’s been around since 2009 and, in the words of CNNMoney.com, “transactions are made with no middlemen – meaning, no banks.” It has value, because right now no one’s sure if it’s the currency of the future, or just the latest blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tech trend, and everyone is hedging their bets. As CNNMoney.com points out, bitcoin isn’t tied to any particular country or even subject to regulation – yet. People can transfer bitcoin payments via mobile apps or their computer.

TPI isn’t alone in accepting bitcoin in the travel industry. Earlier this year the German National Tourism Board also announced it would begin accepting cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.

Both CNNMoney.com and ConsumerReports.org offer good explanations of just how bitcoin works, and what its future prospects are (or aren’t).

Todd Knapp, CEO of Pawtucket, RI-based Envision Technology Advisors, talked about both bitcoin and blockchain at Collette’s global travel forum held recently in Providence, RI. He calls bitcoin a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” and says that while the world is still in the early adoption phase of this technology, “as nations begin to adopt digital currency technology it will mature as a means of payment. After all, at one-time credit cards were not accepted in many places either!”

Knapp adds that while bitcoin specifically may never be widely accepted, digital currency as a concept “is absolutely something that will continue to gain acceptance.”

More news:  From less than 300 to 1,000+ in 3 years for Aussie Specialist Program

Part of the challenge, he says, is that outside of the world’s major cities, Internet access and speed still lag, and that’s a problem for getting an entirely digital currency off the ground.

“Even here in the U.S., there are many areas with Internet access that is akin to old broadband dial-up, as opposed to the high-speed connection we find in major cities,” says Knapp. “Having to access digital assets when a connection is slow, or non-existent, is a legitimate challenge.”

The travel industry is obviously not confined to major cities like Paris, London, or Toyko, of course. “So what happens when someone is on safari in Africa or trekking amidst the glaciers of Iceland? Internet access in those areas might not allow for rapid access to digital platforms and currency. So it’s not unreasonable to say that adoption [of digital currencies like bitcoin] will closely follow the growth of Internet accessibility worldwide.”

That said, the global rate at which people are connected to the Internet is faster than it’s ever been and continues to accelerate, says Knapp. “We’re not talking about the distant future. It’s closer than anyone might think.”

Bitcoin sales start rolling in at Travel Professionals International

TORONTO, CANADA – TPI is open for Bitcoin business and reaching a new client base at the same time. TPI announced in May that they were leading the way by adopting this latest payment technology, to provide more payment options to our advisors to support their customers.

 

Ottawa Travel Advisor, Carine Taylor; an 8-year veteran at Travel Professionals International was the first independent advisor in Canada to make a travel arrangement for a client who paid with Bitcoins. “I was excited when I contacted this client – who has been a client of mine for a while – and suggested to him to use his bitcoins for his upcoming trip. It was an easy and simple transaction and my client is pleased to be TPI’s first client to use cryptocurrency. We will absolutely continue using bitcoin for all future travels, said Ms. Taylor. Zeina Gedeon, CEO reiterated that TPI is committed to meeting the needs of our advisors and their customers. “Offering travellers another way to pay for their vacations opens up so many more avenues for them. Our cryptocurrency clients can now shop from the vast array of vacation options, including all of the Virtuoso products available at TPI, as well as receive top-notch, personalized service from their TPI Travel Advisor. It’s a win-win for our network and for our clients.”

About TPI

Since its founding in 1994, Travel Professionals International (TPI) has been the premier provider of outsourced travel solutions to independent travel advisors and agencies. Backed by a head office support team of fifty highly skilled travel professionals, innovative technological solutions, and excellent supplier relationships, hundreds of TPI advisors across Canada are available to provide full-service travel solutions to leisure and corporate travellers. More information is available at www.tpi.ca.

TPI is a Virtuoso member (www.virtuoso.com) and is a division of the I.A.S. – Independent Agency Services Corp. group of companies. (www.iascorp.ca)

TPI’s 2018 Velocity Trip

TORONTO, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, held its annual TPI Velocity Trip at Secrets SilverSands.

 

Unique to TPI advisors, the industry leading and exclusive Velocity rewards program is designed to recognize and incentivize advisors.  The TPI Velocity program allows advisors to build their business through increased revenue and they are rewarded with incentives such as higher commissions and dollars that can be used for their own travel. Along with other perks and their annual Velocity trip for advisors and guests, it is a true sales incentive program.

Kelly Klassen a Platinum Level Advisor from Saskatchewan said “This was my first Velocity Trip with TPI and I loved every minute! I set out to crush some huge goals this year and I succeeded! TPI rewards its top earners with amazing trips that are fantastic for networking with other agents as well as some of the wonderful head office team who support us day in and day out. I can’t wait to see where the next TPI Velocity Trip will take us”

“These reward trips allow us all to have one on one time together while also allowing fellow advisors from across the country to learn and get to know each other better while reinforcing the strength of our network between TPI and our advisor.  I always look forward to connecting with  TPI advisors and getting feedback to ensure that our organization remains focused and relevant to the continued success of our advisors” said Morris Chia, Chairman

Carlo Trinidad, Business Development Manager AMResorts also joined the trip, “This year’s TPI Velocity trip solidified AMResorts’ strong partnership with TPI. It was a great opportunity to host the agents alongside the TPI team and together we continue to build initiatives to strengthen our business.”

The TPI Velocity Rewards program has paid out over $190,000 YTD  to their advisors.

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About TPI

Since its founding in 1994, Travel Professionals International (TPI) has been the premier provider of outsourced travel solutions to independent travel advisors and agencies. Backed by a head office support team of fifty highly skilled travel professionals, innovative technological solutions, and excellent supplier relationships, hundreds of TPI advisors across Canada are available to provide full-service travel solutions to leisure and corporate travellers. More information is available at www.tpi.ca.

TPI is a Virtuoso member (www.virtuoso.com) and is a division of the I.A.S. – Independent Agency Services Corp. group of companies. (www.iascorp.ca)

TPI announces winner of its Advisor contest month with Norwegian Cruise Line

TORONTO, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, hosted a contest for its advisors for the travel agent month with Norwegian Cruise Line.

 

“To honour our network, we had dedicated the month of May to celebrate our advisors,” said Gedeon, CEO of Travel Professionals International. During the month, TPI advisors had the opportunity to win daily prize giveaways, capped off with a Grand Prize – cruise for two aboard Norwegian Cruise Line.

 

TPI is excited to announce the winner of this grand prize is Monique Powell. Powell has been a loyal member of the TPI family since July 2011. “We would like to congratulate Monique and thank all our advisors for participating in the contest” added Gedeon.

 

TPI prides itself on its ever-growing network of independent travel advisors and continues to support its advisors with various incentives to help them push their sales.

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Since its founding in 1994, Travel Professionals International (TPI) has been the premier provider of outsourced travel solutions to independent travel advisors and agencies. Backed by a head office support team of fifty highly skilled travel professionals, innovative technological solutions, and excellent supplier relationships, hundreds of TPI advisors across Canada are available to provide full-service travel solutions to leisure and corporate travellers. More information is available at www.tpi.ca. TPI – We’ll Take You There

TPI is a Virtuoso member (www.virtuoso.com) and is a division of the I.A.S. – Independent Agency Services Corp. group of companies. (www.iascorp.ca)

TPI ANNOUNCES THEY ARE NOW ACCEPTING BITCOIN CRYPTOCURRENCY

TORONTO, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of Independent Travel Advisors, today announced they are now accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for all purchases. Offering travelers another way to book, travellers can now shop from the vast array of products available including all Virtuoso products at TPI, and for the first time ever beginning today, easily pay using bitcoin.

“TPI is leading the way by adopting the latest payment technologies, to solve travel planning and booking for our advisors,” said Zeina Gedeon, CEO, TPI. “We’re continually looking for ways travellers want to pay for their travel; bitcoin is a great example of how TPI is investing early in an array of payment options to give our customers and partners more choice in the ways they interact with us.” continued Gedeon

TPI partnered with Arclabs, to provide more payment options to our advisors to support their customers.

 

About Travel Professionals International
Since its founding in 1994, Travel Professionals International (TPI) has been the premier provider of outsourced travel solutions to independent travel advisors and agencies. Backed by a head office support team of fifty highly skilled travel professionals, innovative technological solutions, and excellent supplier relationships, hundreds of TPI advisors across Canada are available to provide full-service travel solutions to leisure and corporate travelers. More information is available at www.tpi.ca. TPI – We’ll Take You There

TPI is a Virtuoso member (www.virtuoso.com) and is a division of the I.A.S. – Independent Agency Services Corp. group of companies. (www.iascorp.ca)

 

About Arclabs

Arclabs is a Software Development Company based in Winnipeg, Canada and founded in 2016. Arclabs specializes in applying data science and AI technologies to real-world problems and products. Their secure, dedicated team evaluates, categorizes, and annotates data to deliver consistent and accurate solutions. Arclabs offers custom development solutions to users around the world with successful projects in data analytics, eCommerce, web, iOS, Android, security solutions and more.

 

Contact: TPI Press Releases, pr@tpi.ca, Travel Professionals International (TPI)