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TPI Advisor Wins 3rd Place For The 2019 Virtuoso Photo Contest

“Wild Orangutan Getting Fruit” by Kelly Krill

Travel Professionals International (TPI) Advisor, Kelly Krill was awarded 3rdplace for the 2019 Virtuoso Photo Contest at Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas. The contest recognizes unique travel photos submitted by their national community of travel advisors across North America.

“I’m honoured to have that photo place in the Virtuoso Travel Photo contest,” says Krill, independent owner of the TPI-affiliated KLK Travel, “and to be able to share my special moment with others as it hangs in the Bellagio gallery at Virtuoso Travel Week!”

Krill’s photo was taken while on a Silversea Expedition cruise last September in Sumatra. Krill went on a 3 am trek along the mountain for 5km, until she rounded a corner and found a mother and baby orangutan hanging out in a tree. Two kilometres later, she saw a large male orangutan walk on a tree branch to collect fruit. This was the image captured and shared in the Virtuoso Photo Contest.

TPI says it’s proud to have one of their own advisors awarded for capturing the special moment, titled “Wild Orangutan Getting Fruit.”

Published  August 20th, 2019 on Open Jaw

TPI among Virtuoso’s top winners at annual Travel Week TPI Kicks Off 2019 Virtuoso Travel Week with a Bang!


LAS VEGAS — Virtuoso’s top members were honoured at its 31st annual Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, where over 3,000 of travel’s biggest names took part in week-long celebrations.

Taking place from Aug. 10-16 at Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa, the event was hosted by Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch, Senior Vice President of Marketing Terrie Hansen, and Senior Vice President of Global Member Partnerships David Kolner.

To determine this year’s winners, partners were asked to vote for agencies and advisors, after which travel agency members selected the victorious partners. Thousands of votes were cast, showing a high level of engagement.

“I’m always impressed and inspired by how our members and partners constantly innovate to deliver unforgettable travel experiences to their clients,” said Upchurch. “It’s appropriate that we honour our most remarkable Virtuosos on the final night of our annual ‘family reunion’, when we’ve celebrated an incredible week of forging human connections.”

Among this year’s winners is Travel Professionals International (TPI), which was awarded coveted 2019 Top Air Year-Over-Year Percentage Growth – Member Agency. According to Colton Chia, Director of Partnerships who accepted the award, the honour is especially significant as only a small fraction of the network’s 20,000 advisors and 1,000-plus travel agency members are recognized at Virtuoso Travel Week.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Virtuoso for our advisors’ increase in air production,” said Chia. “Virtuoso Air is an important addition to our direct contracts, providing leading commission levels for growing markets.”

David Kolner, senior vice president, Global Member Partnerships at Virtuoso, added: “This network is always working to ensure the client experience is elevated to the next level, and Virtuoso members such as TPI deserve credit for their efforts in ensuring this happens.”

TPI advisor Kelly Krill also took home 3rd place in the Virtuoso Travel Photo Contest for her image, ‘Wild Orangutan Getting Fruit’. Her photo was featured in the Virtuoso gallery at the Bellagio throughout the week.

Published on Travel Week News on August 16, 2019

TPI celebrates 25th anniversary with double-digit growth

Travel Professionals International (TPI) has recognized double-digit growth in sales, commission, and membership as they move into their 26th year of business.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Behind the scenes with TPI for May’s PAX magazine

August 1 marked the new fiscal year for TPI, and the company reports a banner year as they wrap up their 25th year in business.

“Twenty-five years ago, I started this journey to create a place for entrepreneur minded advisors to call home and provide them with the support and technology to help them become more successful,” said Morris Chia, executive chairman of TPI. “I am pleased to announce that we have experienced a record-breaking double-digit increase this past fiscal in various segments of our business with a particular growth emphasis on FIT bookings. All forward booking indicators also point towards another solid season ahead. I applaud all the efforts of our TPI Advisors and thank them for all their hard work and passion that they bring to their business. As we move into our twenty-sixth year in business, TPI will continue to focus on what is mostly relevant for our advisors – to be more efficient, and to increase their earnings.”

A new chapter

As TPI moves into their new fiscal year, they will continue to forge ahead with programs that allow their advisor’s business to thrive.

With the help of their skilled and dedicated head office team, they are confident that the year ahead will be even more successful than the last. Keep your eye on TPI this year, there will be some incredible opportunities for advisors ahead!

“2019 was a turn-around year for TPI, after 25 years in the business we needed to reinvent the company, to make sure we are fully supporting our advisors,” said Zeina Gedeon, CEO, TPI. “We will continue to keep our advisors at the forefront for everything we implement, all decisions are made by our advisors for our advisors. Each execution is carefully matched with the thought of how this would enrich our advisor’s business. To ensure we see continued growth, the key is to focus not only on innovation but synergy and communication with our advisors.”

Published in PAX News on August 7th, 2019

TPI Celebrates Top Advisors’ Success at Velocity Trip in NYC

 

TORONTO, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Top 10 Canadian Virtuoso Agency and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, hosts Velocity Trip in New York City.

 

TPI’s Velocity Program provides rewards and benefits to recognize the individual advisor’s success. Some of the tier-based benefits include higher commission levels, travel dollars, priority service queues and TPI’s Advisor Vacation Relief program, which provides professional service and support for their clients while on vacation.

 

The 2019 TPI Velocity Trip took place in New York City, for a stay complete with all of the essential activities. Highlights of the itinerary included hosted visits to the Intercontinental New York Times Square and New York Riu Hotels, the Jersey Boys Musical, and a walking tour with Urban Adventures.

 

Colton Chia, Director of Partnerships for TPI who hosted the trip said “The Velocity trip is a great forum to spend one on one time with our advisors while allowing fellow advisors to learn from one another. This strong peer-to-peer networking dynamic is one of the many great elements that define the TPI family culture”

 

Tommy Ryder, Regional Head of Sales – North America, Bedsonline who also joined the trip, commented on the strong partnership between the two companies: “Bedsonline was delighted to host the TPI Velocity advisors in New York City. We value our partnership with TPI and these initiatives allow us to help the travel advisors grow their business”

TPI Advisor Takes Home ACTA Award

TORONTO, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Top 10 Canadian Virtuoso Agency and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, salutes one of their own for achieving top results!

 

The Association of Canadian Travel Agents (ACTA) awarded its annual Travel Agency Leadership Awards at Travel Market Place in Toronto on Wednesday. The honours, which are given in partnership with Air Canada, recognize individuals who have made a significant impact on the Canadian travel industry as a whole. TPI Advisor Corry Ticknor was the recipient of the Maguire-Wamsley award. This award is given to the agent who achieves the overall highest combined grade on the CTM designation process that consists of an exam, 2 written case studies, performance assessment and phone interview with ACTA.

 

“After 21 years of work and personal travel-related experience in this incredible industry, I truly believe in professional development and I encourage others to do the same. Anyone can become a Travel Advisor, but we should all strive to take it to the next level by investing in our careers, ourselves and our industry. Being able to say I’m a Certified Travel Consultant and Certified Travel Manager has helped me establish credibility with my clients and the local community. I take great pride in my accomplishments and so pleased to be recognized with the Maguire-Wamsley award.” Said Corry Ticknor of Gotta Go Travel TPI.

 

“At TPI we put a focus and emphasis on continued education, over 40% of our TPI Advisor have achieved their professional designation with ACTA. and many other advisors in the process of taking their exams said Zeina Gedeon, CEO of TPI.  “We are all so proud of Corry, last year was a year filled with growth for her with the expansion to a storefront agency, she goes above and beyond in all she does and her commitment to continued professional development is commendable. We salute her achievements!”

First TPI Graduates of Virtuoso Wanderlist Program, Future Proof Their Business!

Toronto – Travel Professionals International (TPI) a Virtuoso member, announces that 3 TPI advisors have graduated from the inaugural class of the Virtuoso Wanderlist Certification. Wanderlist is an exclusive offering from Virtuoso and is a groundbreaking consumer travel planning experience that marries technology with the human touch, encompassing a custom-designed platform and extensive advisor training. Through the curation of custom travel portfolios, Wanderlist allows advisors to manage their clients’ future travel proactively based on detailed input from clients themselves versus reactively planning one trip at a time. Building on the model of the financial advisor, Wanderlist encourages the client to have greater input into their future travels, while positioning the advisor as a travel planning superstar.

 

TPI advisors Dawn Cove, Diane Cook and Natalia Weidner have completed extensive training sessions to achieve their Wanderlist certification and join an elite list of 150 certified Wanderlist Advisors globally.

 

Caroline Hay, Director of Marketing & Sales Engagement with TPI says, “As a Virtuoso Member Agency, TPI advisors have access to the full suite of Virtuoso tools. The introduction of the Wanderlist program takes the opportunity for growth to a new level. Advisors can now work to secure a holistic view of their client’s travel plans. Vacation time is so valuable, and leisure time is a non-renewable asset, by engaging in this program, TPI Wanderlist Graduates help their client secure a long term personalized travel plan, that is purposeful and customized.”

TPI partners with Uplift; payment program to unroll this June

TORONTO – Travel Professionals International (TPI) has partnered with travel financing platform Uplift and will be unrolling a payment plan tool for its advisors this summer, PAX has learned.

Colton Chia, director of partnerships at TPI, confirmed the news with PAX via telephone this morning. “I love that Uplift is focused on travel exclusively,” Chia told PAX. “It’s a great tool for our advisors to offer flexible payment solution to our clients.”

 

Uplift, a Silicon Valley FinTech company that gives travellers the ability to book now and pay over time, was launched in 2017 by CEO Brian Barth.

The web-based tool was first introduced to Canada last March, and works exclusively through industry partners by integrating a monthly payment option into booking flows while offering custom-tailored payment solutions for travel agents and call centres.

Beyond offering a payment solution service, Uplift gives customers an option “they might not have thought about,” Chia said. “That’s key.”

Getting ready to launch

TPI will officially introduce Uplift within its network of travel advisors mid-June, Chia said.

Preliminary testing of the platform began last week by a select group of people consisting of TPI’s advisory board members, tech committee and select travel agents.

“The idea was to roll it out to a small group and get feedback and input. To make sure everything is running smoothly,” Chia told PAX. “Any customizations that need to be made, we can add.”

Part of TPI incorporating Uplift into its day-to-day operations was about identifying different types of client profiles and how each could benefit from a payment solution.

“A lot of people think of a payment solution as, ‘I don’t have the money.’ But in reality, it’s about cash management,” Chia said, citing accessibility, affordability and reward as three motivating factors that drive payment solutions for travel.

Whether it’s that couple who wants to splurge on a 20th-anniversary trip or a bucket list safari on the other side of the world, it all comes down to giving the customer what they want.

“If [customers] want flexibility, then we should be able to offer that as a travel advisor,” said Chia. “We can work with them to plan a big-scale trip, further out.”

Quick and easy

Uplift’s accessible platform was a big sell for TPI.

“You take the amount of a trip, put it in the tool, and it automatically calculates a price and monthly payment plan that [advisors] can discuss with clients to see if this is something they’d be interested in,” Chia explained.

The program will give customers the option of paying for travel over 12 months (the first payment is made at the time of the booking and then 11 monthly payments will follow).

“It’s not a predatory loan provider. It’s simple interest,” Chia said. “What you see is what you’re going to pay.

 

TPI Agent feedback

TPI travel advisor Carl Henderson, a Certified Tahiti Specialist, admits he wasn’t initially sold on Uplift in the beginning.

“My initial reaction was that [financing a trip] would be the last thing in the world I’d want to promote,” Henderson said in a statement. “[I was] thinking about getting all these clients that can’t afford to travel, wasting my time. I want to go for clients with lots of money, not no money.”

But after researching it more, he realized that Uplift  “seems pretty seamless from the advisor side.”

“I also realize the number of Tahiti honeymoon clients that come to me and say they have a $10,000 budget, which is just not enough for a good trip to Tahiti. They need at least $13,000 to $15,000,” he said.

“My thoughts are that this could be a great tool [for] people who are doing those big-ticket, bucket list trips and are just shy of the amount they need to achieve it,” he said.

“I think it could really help me close some sales that I am losing or having to switch to less expensive destinations,” Henderson added.

TPI celebrates top advisors with Chairman’s Circle trip

TORONTO — Travel Professionals International (TPI) celebrated the success of its top travel advisors on the annual TPI Chairman’s Circle trip this year with a trip in conjunction with Red Carnation Hotels.

TPI Chairman’s Circle advisors and their guests were hosted for three nights at London’s Milestone Hotel and four nights at Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland.

Also in attendance were TPI Executive Chairman Morris Chia, CEO Zeina Gedeon, Marketing & Sales Director Caroline Hay and Paul Hemmings, VP Sales, Red Carnation Hotels.

“The Chairman’s Circle trip is a celebration of the best of the best, and for our 25th year in business we wanted an astonishing experience for our top advisors to commemorate their success,” said Chia. “To celebrate our special 25th anniversary, we raised the bar with stays at the Milestone Hotel and Ashford Castle during a week filled with extraordinary activities for our Chairman’s Circle advisors. Travelling with the group also gives me an opportunity to connect with our top advisors and recognize their achievements. It was great to spend such quality time with this elite group of TPI advisors in two incredible properties under the Red Carnation umbrella.”

The Chairman’s Circle trip is part of TPI’s larger Velocity travel advisor recognition program, aimed at recognizing and celebrating the successes of TPI’s travel advisors.

Attendance at TPI’s Summit events at an all-time high

 

TORONTO — Attendance at TPI – Travel Professionals International’s annual cross-country Summit events was at an all-time high this year with 350+ TPI advisors taking part.

TPI CEO Zeina Gedeon along with Director of Sales Christine Winchester and Director of Marketing Caroline Hay travelled across the country as part of the Summit series, to deliver TPI updates on new programs and services as well as deliver sales-centric content to assist their TPI members in moving their business forward.

“Our annual Summit Roadshow was a great success. It is a trip that Head Office and TPI advisors across Canada look forward to. It is the opportunity to meet face to face with our advisors and allows us to not just pass on our key TPI messages but to further develop strong relationships with each individual TPI advisor,” says Gedeon.

She adds: “Being joined by our key supplier partners really rounds out the Summit experience, keeping up on industry trends and knowing our partners are here to support our network towards continued sales growth is paramount, and the feedback we received was fantastic!”

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TPI travel advisor Jaime Murphy took part in what has become an annual tradition. “This is my 10th year of attending TPI’s annual summits,” she said. “I love attending the annual summit series as it provides me with important information and connections to continue to operate my business at the top of my game.”

More positive feedback for the events included: “I loved the Summit and all the information I received”; “I was impressed that the CEO was willing to travel across the country and meet with her advisors face to face”; “It’s clear there was a lot of preparation for this summit. I enjoyed it. It was the right amount of time. Long enough breaks to speak with colleagues, head office, and partners.”

Hay says TPI holds more than 40 in-person training events every year. “The community we have as an organization is incredible and when we posed the question during the Summits of ‘Why TPI’, the #1 answer right across the country was the support from head office and other advisors. That is why we continue these in-person meetings throughout the year! It’s a big differentiator for us and we are very proud of the relationship we have with our TPI advisors.”

 

TPI Announces Preferred Supplier Partnership with Travefy

TORONTO — Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent Travel Advisors announced a Preferred Supplier Partnership with Travefy – the leading itinerary management and client communication tool for Travel Agents.

 

“TPI has always been at the forefront of travel innovation,” notes Travefy CEO David Chait. “We’re thrilled by the opportunity to work with the TPI team to assist their valued Travel Advisors to craft and create professional client quotes and itineraries for their clients.”

Through Travefy, Travel Advisors can build dynamic travel quotes and itineraries all in their brand that can be delivered via mobile app, responsive web page, or PDF. Additional time-saving integrations bring key data seamlessly to any itinerary and communication tools help Advisors continue to provide world class service. Through Travefy, Travel Advisors can save time and impress clients.

As a part of the partnership, Travefy will provide TPI Advisors with streamlined access to Travefy’s award-winning itinerary management tools, exclusive training, and more.

“After an evaluation of several itinerary management companies with an Advisor User test group and our Sales Team, we are pleased to have selected Travefy as the preferred itinerary management tool for our network. Travefy’s commitment to helping our Advisors utilize their platform to enhance the customer experience for their clients, together with dedicated support, exclusive training and other initiatives will be instrumental in the success of this partnership,” said Colton Chia, TPI Partnerships Director.