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TPI goes for quality over quantity with invitation-only recruitment “That strategy is paying dividends for us”

Interview with Tim Morgan – by

TPI started off the year with single-digit growth and February is continuing the upward trend with double-digit growth. Commissions continue to outpace the growth of travel sales, says Tim Morgan, Vice President,
TPI – Travel Professionals International, in this edition of Sphere’s Insider Interview.

Sphere: You’ll soon be a familiar face at Toronto and GTA area industry events with your relocation to Toronto this spring. Is your move an indication that TPI wants to grow its presence in Ontario and increase market share across Canada?

Morgan: “TPI has always had a strong presence in Ontario – it accounts for over 37% of our existing travel sales – and we see it continuing to contribute strongly to our organization. We have had various managers, directors, and executives based in Southern Ontario over the years, including our incredibly capable current Ontario Regional Sales Manager, Rhonda LaFosse, and I’m very excited to be able to join Rhonda to contribute to TPI’s continued dominance in Ontario and across Canada with this move.

“Between our Regional Sales Managers across Canada, our National Director of Sales and our President and CEO in Winnipeg, and me in Toronto, we will continue to increase our market share across the country.”

Sphere: How many members does TPI have currently and what’s your goal for 2017?

Morgan: “We’re not so concerned with membership numbers as we are with the quality of the members’ sales.

“Two years ago we drastically paired down our recruitment efforts to focus specifically on highly-qualified individuals through an invitation-only approach.

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“That strategy is paying dividends for us in terms of the quality of each travel sale, namely higher margin types of travel that our advisors are booking. This benefits all TPI travel advisors because we’re able to devote greater support services to a smaller cumulative group of advisors.

“In addition this focus on highly-qualified recruitment produces higher commissions and service levels from our preferred partners which directly benefits all our travel advisors.”

Sphere: TPI has some stand-out travel agents. What do members tell you they like best about TPI?

Morgan: “TPI has incredible travel advisors – the best in the business. What our travel advisors say they like most about TPI is each other [laughs]. It’s true though – the best thing about TPI are the incredible travel advisors that are part of our network across Canada.

“We constantly hear about the benefits of them networking with and learning from their peers – whether via social media, our regional meetings, our annual conference, or otherwise. Our travel advisors love to work together and they love that we encourage them to share and help each other because that is what we do corporately every day as we help them grow their business.

“We are nothing without our dedicated head office team and our passionate advisors, and the best part is that everyone is working together toward the same goal – success for our travel advisors.

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Sphere: How are sales volumes looking for 2017 for TPI members – what sort of feedback are you hearing from the front lines?

Morgan: “We just finalized our mid-year results (for the six months ending 31 January 2017) and while the latter half of calendar 2016 was somewhat of a mixed bag when it came to sales, January started off the new year with single-digit growth and February is continuing the upward trend with double-digit growth.

“Travel commissions continue to outpace the growth of travel sales which is fantastic news for our travel advisors – through higher margins, they’re putting more money in their pockets than ever before.

“Our main corporate push with our travel advisors over the last two years has been to ‘work smarter, not harder’, specifically when we look at the type of travel they’re selling to boost their commission margin – and it’s working.

“With a focus on higher margin product, we’re seeing strong increases particularly in cruise sales and in the service fees that travel advisors are charging for their valuable services across all travel types, including ITC groups.”

Morris-Chia-TPI-President-CEO-Jan-Swartz-Princess-Cruises-President-Tim-Morgan-TPI-Vice-President

Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO; Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises President; Tim Morgan, TPI Vice President at a recent Princess Cruises’event

TPI to Hold 2017 Annual Conference in Dominican Republic

PRESS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

  TPI to Hold 2017 Annual Conference in Dominican Republic

Travel Professionals International (TPI), a top 30 Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, today announces the details of its upcoming 2017 TPI Annual Conference, as the company enters its 23rd year in business.

Taking place 11-18 November 2017 at the newly opened Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa, a 457-room resort located within the exclusive gated community of Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, the 2017 TPI Annual Conference is being presented by TPI and AMResorts.

“We know that AMResorts is very popular with our advisors and the Dominican Republic is a very popular destination among Canadians so it is a match made in heaven,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO. “In addition, our advisor network selected AMResorts as TPI’s Partnership of the Year, Advisor Choice – Specialty award at the 2016 Annual TPI Conference.”

Over 250 travel advisors, guests, staff, and travel partners are expected to converge in the Dominican Republic for the annual event, which is set to include site inspections, networking opportunities, keynote speakers, training workshops, excursions, and much more.

“AMResorts has a long-standing relationship with TPI, and we’re thrilled to be hosting this year’s conference at the flagship property of our Secrets Resorts & Spas brand, Secrets Cap Cana”, stated Jan Lapointe, Senior Director Sales & Marketing, Canada and AMRewards, AMResorts.

secrets resort

 

Bruce Poon Tip to Keynote TPI Annual Conference

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

22 July 2015

Bruce Poon Tip to Keynote TPI Annual Conference

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, is pleased to announce that Bruce Poon Tip, Founder of G Adventures, will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 TPI Annual Conference, taking place at the Melia Marina Varadero, Cuba, 16-19 November 2015.

“It’s our great honour to have Bruce join us for our annual conference,” exclaimed Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO. “Bruce has been a leading entrepreneur in the international travel marketplace for many years and as the owner of a fellow proudly Canadian company it’s my distinct pleasure to have him share his vast experience in business and social consciousness with our network of independent owners.”

Over 200 TPI travel advisors, guests, staff, and travel partners will gather in Cuba for the 2015 TPI Annual Conference which is set to include site inspections, networking opportunities, training workshops, excursions, and much more.

“I’m really looking forward to sharing with TPI the importance of social innovation and understanding how the sharing economy is revolutionizing our industry and customers,” said Bruce Poon Tip, Founder, G Adventures. “TPI is a great example of how the travel industry must evolve from being an industry of agents to supplying a valued service as travel professionals”.

G Adventures and Bruce Poon Tip have been consistently recognized by many organizations for leadership and outstanding business practices. G Adventures has been named by National Geographic Adventures as the best “Do It All Outfitter” on Earth, and is among the Top 100 Employers and 50 Best Managed Companies. Besides receiving an award as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, Bruce has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and has won Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year and has been honoured as Canada’s 100 Leaders of Tomorrow. In Profit magazine, Bruce was featured as one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs in Canada of the last 25 years.  G Adventures has always won one of the great places to work, most engaged work places and the Government of Canada’s Citation for Entrepreneurship.

The 2015 TPI Annual Conference is being presented by TPI and its preferred partners, including Transat Holidays/Nolitours, Melia Hotels & Resorts, and G Adventures, among others.

TPI and Karisma Set to Take Top Travel Advisors to Cancun

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

28 May 2015

TPI and Karisma Set to Take Top Travel Advisors to Cancun

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, is pleased to announce that its 2015 TPI Velocity trip for top performing travel advisors will take place 20-24 September 2014, in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Nearly 100 travel advisors, guests, and TPI Head Office staff will convene at the El Dorado Royale and Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma for the annual event which celebrates the top three tier levels of TPI’s travel advisor recognition program, Velocity.

“It is our sincere honour to welcome TPI’s top performers to our resorts,” exclaimed Mandy Chomat, VP Sales & Marketing, Karisma Hotels & Resorts. “Our Karisma family is looking forward to pampering these exceptional travel advisors as they enjoy the fruits of their labour.”

Unique to TPI advisors, the industry leading and exclusive Velocity rewards program is designed to recognize and encourage advisors to gain industry designations, participate in TPI and preferred partner functions, and build their businesses through increased revenue – while rewarding them with incentives such as higher commissions and the annual Velocity trip for advisors and their guests, among other perks.

“I’m looking forward to joining our executive team and our top advisors as we celebrate their success together in beautiful surroundings,” said Tim Morgan, TPI Vice President.

The 2015 TPI Velocity Trip is generously sponsored by, TPI preferred partners, Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Air Canada.

 

TPI Advisors Attend Virtuoso Canada Events

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

21 May 2015

TPI Advisors Attend Virtuoso Canada Events

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Top 30 Worldwide Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, sent 30 advisors and staff to the Virtuoso Symposium events in Toronto (May 12) and Vancouver (May 14) where they networked with many of the world’s leading luxury tour, cruise, and hotel operators during day-time sessions and at the TPI-exclusive cocktail parties in each city.

(Photos attached with captions below.)

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Since its founding in 1994 by Morris Chia, 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)

 

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

ATTACHED FILE(S): (Higher Resolution and Alternate Graphic Formats Available Upon Request)

 

  1. Travel Professionals International (TPI) logo in .JPG format.  (tpi_jpg_color_highres.jpg)
  1. The TPI Difference – a cross-country head office support team of 50 individuals who are solely focused on helping TPI travel advisors grow their business.  (TPI-Staff-Group.jpg)
  1. TPI advisors and staff attend the Virtuoso Toronto Symposium, Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, 12 May 2015.  (TPI-Virtuoso-YYZ-Group2015.jpg)
  1. TPI advisors and staff attend the Virtuoso Vancouver Symposium, Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia, 14 May 2015.  (TPI-Virtuoso-YVR-Group2015.JPG)
  2. TPI advisors and staff attend the Virtuoso Toronto Symposium. (l-r) Tim Morgan, TPI Vice President; Shangri-La Hostess; Anne Barclay, Wanderlust Travel TPI, Oakville, Ontario; Cheryl Bunker, Virtuoso Member Development Managing Director, at the Virtuoso Toronto Symposium, Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, 12 May 2015.  (TPI-Virtuoso-YYZ-Group2-2015.jpg)
  3. TPI advisors at the Virtuoso Toronto Symposium, Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, 12 May 2015. (l-r) Coco Toth, Hamilton, Ontario; Patricia Miner, Ottawa, Ontario; Natalia Weidner, Milton, Ontario.  (TPI-Virtuoso-YYZ-Group3-2015.jpg)
  4. TPI staff attend the Virtuoso Toronto Symposium, Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, 12 May 2015. (l-r) David Kolner, Virtuoso Senior Vice President of Consumer; Barbara Chamberlain-Ritchie, TPI Director of Sales; Rhonda LaFosse, TPI Ontario Regional Sales Manager; Cheryl Bunker, Virtuoso Member Development Managing Director; Tim Morgan, TPI Vice President; Joelle Goldman, Virtuoso North Central Regional Director. (TPI-Virtuoso-YYZ-Group4-2015.jpg)

 

TPI to Hold 2015 Annual Conference in Cuba

Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, today announces the details of its upcoming 2015 TPI Annual Conference, as the company enters its 21st year in business.

Taking place 16-19 November 2015 in Cuba, at the Melia Marina Varadero, the 2015 TPI Annual Conference is being presented by TPI, Transat Holidays/Nolitours, and Melia Hotels & Resorts.

“The combination of TPI’s long-standing relationship with Transat and Cuba’s popular destination status among Canadians makes this destination an exciting focus for our annual event,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO.

Over 250 travel advisors, guests, staff, and travel partners are expected to converge in Cuba for the annual event which is set to include site inspections, networking opportunities, keynote speakers, training workshops, excursions, and much more.

“TPI has long held a close relationship with our company and we’re thrilled to be hosting this conference alongside our partners at Melia,” exclaimed Denise Heffron, Vice President, National Sales & Commercial, Transat Tours Canada Inc.

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TPI Appoints Western and Eastern Sales Directors

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and agencies, is pleased to announce the appointment of Christine Winchester and Barbara Chamberlain-Ritchie as TPI Director of Sales, Western Canada, and TPI Director of Sales, Eastern Canada, respectively, effective immediately.

“Christine and Barbara bring exceptional experience to our existing management team bench strength and they will be key players as we execute on the next phase of regional growth for TPI and our advisors’ individual travel businesses,” said Steve Ruddy, TPI’s newly-appointed COO and SVP Finance.

Winchester had been a TPI advisor for 8 years (7 of those as a Platinum advisor – TPI’s highest production level in its Velocity advisor rewards program) and most recently reached the prestigious TPI Chairman’s Circle for TPI’s top 10 advisors in 2014. Prior to joining TPI, she worked for 13 years at Advantage Travel in Orillia, Ontario, starting as a junior travel agent and progressing to agency manager. In total, she has nearly 23 years of travel industry experience. Winchester is based in Invermere, British Columbia, and can be reached at cwinchester@tpi.ca.

Chamberlain-Ritchie comes to TPI with over 20 years of experience in the Canadian travel industry. She started out as a franchise owner for Cruise Holidays where she grew sales at the London, Ontario, office 6-fold in 18 months. Most recently, she worked with Cruise Holidays as Business Development Manager for North America and then as Manager of Operations and Supplier Relations for Canada. Chamberlain-Ritchie is based in London, Ontario, and can be reached at bchamberlain@tpi.ca.

As TPI’s sales directors, Winchester and Chamberlain-Ritchie are responsible for TPI’s regional efforts in growing its independent advisors’ and agencies’ travel businesses, working closely alongside TPI’s regional sales managers, Trudy McMillan, Rhonda LaFosse, and Lisa Geddes, in Western Canada, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, respectively

__________

Since its founding in 1994 by Morris Chia, 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)

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

ATTACHED FILE(S): (Higher Resolution and Alternate Graphic Formats Available Upon Request)

  1. Travel Professionals International (TPI) logo in .JPG format.  (tpi_jpg_color_highres.jpg)
  1. The TPI Difference – a cross-country head office support team of 50 individuals who are solely focused on helping TPI travel advisors grow their business.  (TPI-Staff-Group.jpg
  1. Christine Winchester, TPI Director of Sales, Western Canada.  (TPI-Winchester1.jpg)
  1. Barbara Chamberlain-Ritchie, TPI Director of Sales, Eastern Canada.  (TPI-ChamberlainRitchie1.jpg)

 

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TPI Celebrates 20 Years, Hosts 400 in Mexico

TPI-MorrisChia1WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, welcomed nearly 400 of its travel advisors and their guests, preferred partners, and TPI Head Office staff, to the company’s historic 20th anniversary annual conference at the Platinum Yucatan Princess and Grand Riviera Princess All-Suites Resorts and Spas, Riviera Maya, Mexico, that took place 8-15 November 2014.

“It is hard to believe that it was two decades ago, in 1994, that 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 at TPI”, said Morris Chia, TPI President and CEO.

TPI-TimMorgan1With a theme of “Stir the Skies”, attendees were invited to dream big personally and professionally and to hold steadfastly to those dreams even in the face of adversity.

During his opening keynote address, Chia revisited the company’s humble beginnings in 1994 in Winnipeg, when his financial advisor told him that, “(he) would be better off to work at a regular 9 to 5,” but Chia said, “I had a dream.” It took Chia and his small initial team of staff and travel advisors many years to gain industry acceptance and to become what is today the country’s largest and leading network of independent travel advisors.

TPI-MorrisChia2Looking forward, Chia outlined the company’s top 3 priorities for the next 20 months – consumer and advisor engagement, technology development, and taking advantage of industry trends in exclusivity. Tim Morgan, TPI Vice President, dove further in to these 3 priorities alongside Mark Luimes, TPI Director of Technology, and Joelle Goldman, Virtuoso North Central Regional Director of Global Member Partnerships. Together, they outlined a calendar for 2015 which includes over 160 in-person advisor or consumer events focused on increasing advisors’ travel sales, technology enhancements and solutions to maximize advisor efficiency and to take advantage of web-based sales channels, and continuing to utilize value-added amenities exclusive to Virtuoso members to drive consumer retention and referrals.

“Here’s to 20 more years and beyond of living our passion and sharing the many wonders of the world with those around us,” exclaimed Chia.

TPI-Crowd1In addition to the record-breaking near-400 guests in attendance, further records were shattered in the form of 50 supplier representatives from 33 preferred partners in attendance. Among those partners was Gary Sadler, Sandals Senior Vice President of Sales, who addressed the crowd on the importance of Sandals’ longstanding relationship with TPI.

The historic TPI 20th anniversary annual conference was made possible by the support of its presenting partners, WestJet and WestJet Vacations, and its platinum partners, TIC Insurance and Transat Holidays/Nolitours, among others.

__________

Since its founding in 1994 by Morris Chia, 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)

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Contact: Ariana Chia, achia@tpi.ca, Communications Coordinator, Travel Professionals International (TPI)

ATTACHED FILE(S): (Higher Resolution and Alternate Graphic Formats Available Upon Request)

  1. Travel Professionals International (TPI) logo in .JPG format.  (tpi_jpg_color_highres.jpg)
  1. The TPI difference – a cross-country head office support team of over 40 individuals who are solely focused on helping TPI travel advisors grow their business.  (TPI-Staff-Group.jpg)
  1. Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO, addresses the crowd of attendees at the 2014 TPI Annual Conference, Stir the Skies, celebrating TPI’s 20th anniversary.  (TPI20-MorrisChia1.jpg)
  1. Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO, addresses the crowd of attendees at the 2014 TPI Annual Conference, Stir the Skies, celebrating TPI’s 20th anniversary.  (TPI20-MorrisChia2.jpg)
  1. Tim Morgan, TPI Vice President, addresses the crowd of attendees at the 2014 TPI Annual Conference, Stir the Skies, celebrating TPI’s 20th anniversary.  (TPI20-TimMorgan1.jpg)
  1. Gary Sadler, Sandals Senior Vice President of Sales, addresses the crowd of attendees at the 2014 TPI Annual Conference, Stir the Skies, celebrating TPI’s 20th anniversary.  (TPI20-MorrisChiaGarySadler1.jpg)
  1. The crowd of attendees at the 2014 TPI Annual Conference, Stir the Skies, celebrating TPI’s 20th anniversary.  (TPI20-Crowd1.jpg)

 

TPI Launches Wellness Program for its Travel Advisors

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, is pleased to announce the launch of a benefits program available exclusively to TPI Advisors. The TPI Wellness Program is currently rolling out in each province and territory across Canada with components specifically related to providing opt-in health and dental benefits coverage for the organization’s advisors.

“I’m pleased to announce the launch of our TPI Wellness Program which is the culmination of months of ideas and feedback from our advisors and review by your TPI Head Office Team and TPI Advisory Board,” exclaimed Tim Morgan, TPI Vice President, in announcing the program to its network. “The need for such a program comes from the fact that many TPI Advisors’ sole occupation/income is derived from their TPI business and as such they do not have a corporately-initiated health and dental benefits program. This will change starting today.”

To ensure that the varying needs of all of its advisors are met under the program, TPI has devised 8 exclusive plans including the option for advisors to create their own customized plan.

“I’m very proud of the fact that the idea for this program came directly from you, our TPI Advisors,” continued Morgan. “Thank you for continuing to provide feedback and ideas for how we can help you achieve your goals.”

TPI in Top 10 at World’s Largest Luxury Travel Show

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, attended the 26th annual Virtuoso Travel Week, 9-15 August 2014, at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, and were in the top 10 agencies in attendance out of the 2,100 travel agent participants.

“We are very pleased with our partnership and with being a Virtuoso Top 30 Worldwide producing agency in less than 2 years. This signals positively that our advisors have indeed embraced this opportunity and are capitalizing on a growing market demographic, seeking experiential vacations and high touch service. We continue to be amazed at the possibilities that Virtuoso brings to our advisors and more importantly, their clients,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO.

The 26th annual Virtuoso Travel Week set new participation records, with over 4,400 people from 92 countries in attendance, and featured an appearance and performance by Grammy award winning singer Olivia Newton-John during the opening keynote session. TPI advisors took the week’s opportunity to learn about new products and services, forge new relationships while strengthening existing ones, and participate in training sessions designed to improve the sales process.

“We love having TPI as part of the Virtuoso family,” exclaimed Becky Powell, Virtuoso Senior Vice President of Global Member Partnerships. “Their commitment to being the best of the best is shown in their engagement and enthusiasm at Virtuoso events and their sales support of Virtuoso partners worldwide.”

As a thank you for each of its advisors committing to the success of their TPI business by attending Virtuoso Travel Week, TPI donated money to Breakfast Club of Canada and Sandals Foundation in their names.

Virtuoso is a by-invitation-only organization comprising over 330 agencies with more than 7,200 elite travel advisors in 20 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, selling USD9.6 billion in travel annually.

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Since its founding in 1994 by Morris Chia, 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, over 500 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)

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Contact: Ariana Chia, achia@tpi.ca, Communications Coordinator, Travel Professionals International (TPI)

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