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Top TPI Travel Advisors Honoured at TPI Chairman’s Circle Trip

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

24 APRIL 2018

Top TPI Travel Advisors Honoured at TPI Chairman’s Circle Trip

 

Travel Professionals International (TPI), Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, celebrated the success of its top advisors by hosting them and their guests on The Crystal Esprit Yacht, alongside TPI President, Morris Chia, TPI CEO, Zeina Gedeon, and Marketing Director, Jordana Botting.

 

“The Chairman’s Circle trip is a TPI tradition I very much look forward to, as it is one of the best opportunities for me to connect with our top achievers and recognize their commitment to success” Chia said. “To be able to spend such quality time with TPI’s best of the best – while sailing aboard a yacht in a beautiful part of the world is a treat.”

 

The 7-day ‘West Indies Yachting Explorer’ voyage set sail from St. Martin on April 13, 2018 with ports of call in Moskito Island, Saba, Antigua (where the group was hosted at Sandals Grande Antigua for a special lunch and a day of relaxation), St. Barts, St. Kitts, Tortola and our final leisurely stop in Nevis, where the advisors spent the day at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis.

 

The Crystal Esprit offers an intimate and elegant enclave for up to 62 sophisticated adventurists in all-suite and butler-serviced accommodations. The yacht’s unique size brings guests to the very doorstep of some of the world’s most exclusive shores, allowing for incomparable personalized experiences. The Crystal Esprit is small enough to sail to exotic bucket-list destinations, with a wide range of complimentary excursions and amenities in a very intimate and customized manner. The cuisine is inspired by the flavors of lands explored, delivered through lavish culinary presentations of Michelin-level envy.

 

“We look forward to next year’s Chairman’s Circle trip with a marque event celebrating TPI’s 25th year anniversary” Chia said. “Stay tuned, we will be announcing details of the trip shortly”.

 

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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 travelers. 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)

 

About Crystal Cruises

Celebrating 27 years of excellence, Crystal Cruises is the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line, having earned “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 24 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by travel professional organization Virtuoso for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 & 2016).  The readers of Travel + Leisure also voted Crystal River Cruises the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises the “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” in 2017. Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of ASTA.

TPI Advisor Recognized

From the small city of St. John’s Newfoundland, Lois Barbour has grown a formidable travel agency that is competing with the very best in the world.
When she first decided to purchase a franchise with Travel Professionals International (TPI) in 2005, Lois Barbour still had one foot in her other career — nursing. She soon realized that her knack for planning perfect family vacations was serving her well in her new venture and she was able to step back from nursing to concentrate on growing her St. John’s-based business full-time.
“I retired completely from nursing in 2010 and haven’t looked back,” Barbour said.
Today, her agency, Travel Time TPI, has eight outside agents and an office administrator; and Barbour has proven herself to be one of Canada’s best destination wedding planners and a go-to resource for families looking to plan a stress-free vacation.
“My passion really is helping people — whether that be couples or families — to create incredible travel memories. I know from my own experience when a vacation is planned well and travel is stress-free, that time away together is really invaluable,” Barbour said.
“We started to travel as a family when our daughter was two years old. She is 30 now and along with our two sons who are now in their 20’s, we still look back at those travel memories as some of the best times our family spent together while they were growing up.”
One of Barbour’s favourite travel recommendations is the Sandals and Beaches brand of resorts. For couples, the adult-only Sandals resorts are absolutely perfect, she says, and for families, you really can’t get much better than a Beaches vacations.
“What I love about the brand is that it offers consistency throughout, so you know that you will get high level of customer service in every resort,” she said. “And the food is always amazing.”
Just last week, Barbour’s agency was honoured at the annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) Awards with the ‘Best of the Best’ award — which recognizes excellence in sales and marketing. Barbour was also named once again to the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club, an honour reserved for the world’s top performing agents and one that she has received each year since the program was implemented in 2011. She is the only agent in Newfoundland to ever receive this honour and one of only three in Canada for 2017.
“There is a direct benefit to our customers when we receive awards such as these,” Barbour said. “Being part of the inner circle allows us to advocate for our clients with the very top people from the Sandals brand. We are asked for ideas to improve the brand and we’ve seen our input make a real difference.” She points to free WiFi that is now offered at Sandals resorts as one idea that she pushed based on feedback from her clients.
“We are very proud of all of our agents who work hard to give their customers the very best service and travel experiences,” said Zeina Gedeon, CEO of Travel Professionals International. “Lois is a wonderful example of the level of excellence our TPI agents provide to their clients all across Canada.”
Barbour is just one of hundreds of independent travel advisors and agencies under the TPI umbrella — a network that supports and encourage each other while growing businesses in their local communities. TPI is the largest host agency in Canada, providing marketing and technology tools for agents to increase revenue while providing superior customer service.
TPI was itself recognized with a ‘Best of the Best’ award, as well as the coveted Top Host Agency in Canada honour at the STAR awards.
“It is great to be part of an organization that stands out from all the noise out there in the travel industry,” Barbour said. “TPI continues to support its agents so that we can do our job well — and that is to support travelers in all their needs.”

 

TPI Takes Top Canadian Spot at STAR Awards

Travel Professionals International (TPI) was once again named the Top Host Agency in Canada at the 16th annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) Awards held this past weekend at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa.

The STAR awards celebrate excellence in sales and recognize the agencies and individual advisors who utilize innovative selling techniques and employ outstanding marketing initiatives to sell the luxury Sandals and Beaches brand.

In addition to taking the Top Host Agency award, TPI was named a ‘Best of the Best Agency’ thanks to high sales productivity from its independent agents between August 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017.

And the accolades didn’t stop there.

Travel Time TPI (based out of St. John’s Newfoundland) received the ‘Best of the Best Agency’ award for its outstanding sales performance; Western Canada TPI was honoured with the Top Butler Travel Agency award for its high percentage of butler bookings.

Lois Barbour of Travel Time TPI was named once again to the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club, an honour reserved for the world’s top performing agents and one that she has received each year since the program was implemented in 2011. She is the only agent in Newfoundland to ever receive this honour and one of only three in Canada for 2018.

“Congratulations to all our advisors across Canada for the outstanding job they do each and every day,” said TPI’s CEO Zeina Gedeon, who was on hand to receive the awards on behalf of TPI. “I am constantly amazed at all of the hard work our advisors do to grow their business. They are the backbone of our company and it is a great pleasure to see them succeed. Being recognized with awards such as these truly shows the strength of the TPI organization and the commitment our advisors have to supporting their clients and our preferred partners.”

Zeina Gedeon Joins TPI as CEO

 

Travel Professionals International (TPI), a top 10 worldwide Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, is pleased to announce that industry veteran Zeina Gedeon has joined the company in the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, to focus on two key priority areas – growth and innovation.

“Zeina brings an incredible amount of experience to TPI,” said Morris Chia, TPI President. “Through this experience and her relationships, we are perfectly poised for Zeina to take TPI to the next level of growth and innovation.”

Gedeon’s growth priority takes aim at increasing sales and commission revenues for the company in addition to building TPI’s footprint, through acquisition of individual travel advisors, storefronts, and agency groups. Her innovation priority will further develop internal systems such as TPI’s exclusive Lynx platform, building on existing gains the company has made in lead-generation and automated content delivery for its travel advisors.

“Innovation cannot happen without the correct corporate culture, and TPI’s head office team and travel advisors have the incredible passion and knowledge needed to continue to grow and innovate together,” said Gedeon. “I’m excited to contribute to these ongoing efforts started under Morris’ leadership.”

Gedeon brings to TPI over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, including various president and vice president roles at companies such as Air Canada, Air Canada Vacations, and TravelBrands, in addition to her previous experience on TPI’s Corporate Advisory Board.

Gedeon is based between Montreal and Toronto and can be reached at zgedeon@tpi.ca.

TPI Hosts Over 300 at Record Number of Ship Tours

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a top 10 worldwide Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, is pleased to announce that a record number of ship tours are planned for its Atlantic Canada travel advisors and their clients this fall.
From September through October 2017, 25 ship tours are taking place in Atlantic Canada – the most ever for the region – at ports such as Charlottetown, Halifax, Saint John, St. John’s, and Sydney. Representing TPI on these ship tours are 100 TPI Atlantic Canada travel advisors and 235 of their clients who will experience a wide range of cruise product including Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney, Norwegian, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Silversea Cruises, and Viking Ocean Cruises.
“These ship tours build on our successful ship tour events in 2016 where hundreds of thousands of dollars in cruise sales were secured by our advisors,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO. “I’d like to thank our cruise partners for showcasing their product in such a way that allows our travel advisors to interact simultaneously with both their clients and the cruise product. There is no easier way to sell a cruise than to experience one.”
The assortment of cruise lines includes contemporary, premium and luxury cruise lines, ranging from 382 passengers up to 4180 passengers, meaning TPI travel advisors and their clients experience every product category ocean cruise vacations have to offer.
Onboard the ships, clients are given access to exclusive booking promotions and TPI travel advisors have the opportunity to take training sessions that qualify toward their certified cruise counsellor accreditations.

TPI achieves Air Canada Circle of Excellence & TPI advisors win AC Contest

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a top 10 worldwide Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, is pleased to announce that it has been selected by Air Canada as a 2017 Circle of Excellence (COE) agency for the tenth year in a row. In addition, two (2) TPI advisors – Shirley Noel and Jeanine Crowell – each won one of twenty (20) Air Canada passes to travel to one of Air Canada’s new destinations as part of a contest launched for travel advisors who completed their AC Global Sales University certification.

“TPI is extremely honoured to receive this COE designation, earned by only the top rated Air Canada agencies. Not only does it epitomize our very strong relationship with Air Canada, but it also shows our travel advisors’ commitment to their customers,” says Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO. “In addition, we had over 300 TPI advisors complete the extensive Air Canada Global University certification. This is such a positive news story for our advisors’ clients as they will benefit the most from our advisors’ commitment and dedication to complete this training.”

As a part of Air Canada’s Circle of Excellence, TPI receives the inside track for special promotions and agent benefits program, priority contacts within Air Canada as well as the most up-to-date information on the leading carrier’s services and operations. The Air Canada Circle of Excellence is awarded by Air Canada to a select group of Canadian agencies; less than in 50 total.

“I’d like to congratulate TPI travel advisors on achieving Air Canada Expert certification,” said Duncan Bureau, Vice President of Global Sales, Air Canada. “As an important partner to Air Canada, we’re honoured to work closely with the TPI head office team and all of their advisors as we together represent Canada to the world.”

TPI in Top 10 for Total Agency Attendance at Virtuoso Travel Week

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a top 10 Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, was recognized as one of the top 10 largest attendee groups at Virtuoso Travel Week, 11-17 August 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, with representation by 52 of its travel advisors and staff.

“We are delighted that TPI and its advisors showed such a strong commitment to this year’s Virtuoso Travel Week,” said Matthew Upchurch, Virtuoso CEO. “It’s truly a testament to their dedication and passion for providing the utmost in luxury travel to their clients.” Virtuoso Travel Week, in its 29th year, is the luxury network’s premier annual event with over 2,800 travel advisors and suppliers from around the world descending on Las Vegas, Nevada, for 5 days of learning, networking, and entertainment.
TPI’s membership in Virtuoso gives its advisors direct relationships with many of the finest hotels, resorts, spas, cruise lines and tour operators in the world, as well as Virtuoso On-Site ground operators in more than 70 countries, all dedicated to ensuring the happiness and comfort of Virtuoso agencies’ clients with benefits such as room upgrades, amenities, and more. In addition, TPI advisors gain access to the latest in travel product marketing and technology in order to assist them in taking their businesses to new heights.
“Our top 10 worldwide affiliation with Virtuoso brings many added benefits to our travel advisors,” said Morris Chia, TPI President, “including bonus double-digit commission opportunities that help our advisors put more money in their pockets.”
Virtuoso is a by-invitation-only organization comprising over 800 agencies with more than 16,000 elite travel advisors in 45 countries in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East selling USD$21.2 billion in travel annually.

TPI & Crystal Cruises Announce 2018 Chairman’s Circle Trip

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a top 30 Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, announces its 2018 annual TPI Chairman’s Circle trip with co-host Crystal Cruises to recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements of its top advisors. Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO will travel along with TPI’s top advisors and their guests aboard the exclusive Crystal Esprit Yacht. Advisors will be sailing the West Indies April 22-29, 2018.

“Crystal Cruises is honoured to host the prestigious TPI Chairman’s Circle and we know that the Crystal Yacht experience will truly motivate the TPI advisor team to take their sales performance to the next level. We are so looking forward to demonstrating our own commitment to excellence to the TPI top travel advisors with an amazing itinerary on the Crystal Esprit,” said Edie Rodriguez, CEO & President, Crystal Cruises.

The Crystal Esprit will start its voyage in Marigot Bay, Saint Martin with stops in Anguilla, Saba, Netherlands Antilles, Falmouth Harbor, Antigua, Nevis, Gustavia, with an overnight stay in St. Barthélemy, Saint Martin/St. Maarten, and finally back to Marigot Bay.

“I am thrilled that we can give our top achievers such an incredible experience in partnership with Crystal Cruises as a testament to their success and commitment to their clients,” said Morris Chia, TPI Chairman.

As part of TPI’s larger Velocity travel advisor rewards program, the prestigious TPI Chairman’s Circle designation is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the successes of TPI’s highest producing travel advisors.

Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO with top TPI advisors on an AMA Waterways river cruise.

TPI Launches Tech Tool, Nets Record Satisfaction Levels at Cross-Country Tour

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, held its annual TPI Summit events across Canada from 24 May to 3 June. Taking place in 9 major cities across Canada, over 300 advisors participated in the events – a marked increase in engagement over 2016.

“The TPI Summit events are an important touch point for TPI to ensure we continue to be focused on the products and services that help our advisors work smarter and not harder,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO.

The events launched a new innovative technology tool, Lynx, that provides TPI advisors with a time-saving advanced content management system to connect with their clients quickly and easily through a variety of mediums at the click of a single button, including personalized social media, e-mail newsletter, and website postings.  Other items launched include new, exclusive consumer offers, lead generation programs, and further technology initiatives, such as Umapped, that are focused on saving time and making more money.

The TPI team presenting at the TPI Summit events included Vice President, Tim Morgan; Director of Sales, Rhonda LaFosse; Director of Marketing, Laura Kwiatkowski; and Director of Operations, Amy Losics. Each team member delivered key industry and TPI-specific sales, marketing and training updates, in addition to best practice discussions and networking sessions among advisors and preferred partners.

“TPI is committed to our advisors’ long term success by implementing new initiatives to ensure TPI’s systems, products, and services continue to be best-in-class. We have long-term plans to maintain TPI’s status as the leader in the independent travel advisor segment in Canada,” states Chia

An overwhelming majority of TPI advisors reported being satisfied with this year’s Summit events – 93% of TPI advisors reported being satisfied with the event which is a significant increase over 2016 results which reported a 90% advisor satisfaction level. 

“With the large advisor turn-out and positive feedback, it clearly demonstrates that the TPI organization and its advisors are aligned in our corporate focus to grow their businesses. As a result, our advisors feel very positive about our company direction,” states Chia.

The 2017 TPI Summit events were generously sponsored by this year’s Presenting Partner, Air Canada, and Platinum Partners, Allianz and Transat, among other preferred partner participants. 

Toronto Summit 2017

Top Travel Advisors Honoured at TPI Chairman’s Circle Trip

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a top 30 Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, celebrated the success of its top advisors by hosting them and their guests on the annual TPI Chairman’s Circle trip – this year aboard an AmaWaterways river cruise – alongside Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO. Advisors traveled on board the AmaDara sailing on the Mekong River from Vietnam to Cambodia.

“AmaWaterways is thrilled to once again to have hosted the TPI team of top travel advisors for this very prestigious event. Our strong relationship with TPI continues to grow each year and this year, we showcased Southeast Asia and our beautiful ship, AmaDara, to this exceptional group of TPI travel advisors,” said Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways Executive Vice President and Co-Owner.

The AmaDara started its voyage in My Tho Port, outside of Ho Chi Minh City, with stops in Phnom Phen, the capital of Cambodia, and concluded in Prek Kdam, Cambodia. In addition to enjoying the voyage itself, TPI advisors spent time relaxing and networking with their peers and with TPI executives including Chia; Tim Morgan, Vice President; Rhonda LaFosse, Director of Sales; and Laura Kwiatkowski, Director of Marketing.

“It is truly my honour to have hosted our top achievers for this once-in-a-lifetime voyage as we recognize their commitment to success,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO.

The TPI Chairman’s Circle trip is part of TPI’s larger Velocity travel advisor recognition program and is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the successes of TPI’s highest-producing travel advisors.

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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 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)