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TPI Celebrates 20 Years, Hosts 400 in Mexico

November 24, 2014

WINNIPEG, 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.

With 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.

In 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.

TPI Launches Wellness Program for its Travel Advisors

September 11, 2014

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

August 26, 2014

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.

TPI Advisor Recognized by Air Canada Vacations

August 14, 2014

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, proudly announces that one of its advisors, Lois Barbour, of St. John’s, NL, has achieved Silver Status within the Air Canada Vacations ACV & Me program recognizing travel agent loyalty. Barbour was among the limited total of 6 agents that qualified across Atlantic Canada and the only agent to qualify from Newfoundland.

Travel agents earn their status in ACV & Me based on annual sales with Air Canada Vacations. This honour makes Barbour TPI’s top seller of Air Canada Vacations and also one of their top 50 travel sellers across Canada.

“On behalf of all of TPI, I would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Lois on achieving this great honour,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO.

TPI Holds Successful Summit Series Across Canada

August 14, 2014

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, held its annual TPI Summit events across Canada, 30 April to 10 May. Taking place in 9 major centers throughout the country, over 300 advisors participated in the Summit events, an increase over 2013.

TPI’s President & CEO, Morris Chia, and TPI’s Vice President, Tim Morgan, traveled across the country to deliver industry and TPI-specific updates emphasizing listening and learning to ensure that needs are consistently met and that TPI always remaining relevant to its advisors’ needs. Chia and Morgan presented a roadmap of TPI’s next 3-6 months which included foundation work on ensuring its systems, products, and services are best-in-class; helping to maintain TPI’s status as the leader in the independent travel advisor segment. Chia and Morgan encouraged the advisors to take part in new national TPI initiatives, such as consumer shows, to increase retention and sales through their existing clientbase. They also outlined the company’s plans for assisting it’s travel advisors in working within the upcoming Canada Anti-Spam Legislation taking effect 1 July 2014. The Ontario TPI Summit was made particularly noteworthy due to the announcement by TPI travel advisor, Sylvia Isaac, and her announcement that after‎ having begun with TPI 5 years prior with no previous travel industry experience that she was retiring from her full-time nursing job to take her TPI business to new heights even though she had already become a member of some of TPI’s top sales levels.

In addition, the Summit included a TPI exclusive 2-hour group travel training session in all 9 cities hosted by Transat Holidays. This year’s Summit series also raised over $1200 for Breakfast Club of Canada and the Sandals Foundation- two charities that TPI proudly supports. TPI Regional Sales Managers, Trudy McMillian (Western Canada), Rhonda LaFosse (Ontario), and Lisa Geddes (Atlantic Canada), hosted best practice group exercises and supplier presentations. Following the daytime events, advisors were able to network with their peers along with supplier representatives during a cocktail and trade show event plus take part in an exclusive reception for TPI’s top producing advisors.

2014 TPI Summit dates and locations:

  • 30 April – Winnipeg, MB
  • 1 May – Regina, SK
  • 2 May – Edmonton, AB
  • 3 May – Calgary, AB
  • 5 May – Vancouver, BC
  • 7 May – Ottawa, ON
  • 8 May – Toronto, ON
  • 9 May – St. John’s, NL
  • 10 May – Halifax, NS

The 2014 TPI Summit events were generously sponsored by this year’s Presenting Partner, Transat Holidays, and Platinum Partner, WestJet Vacations, among other preferred partner participants.

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

July 23, 2014

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, will be celebrating the success of its top 15 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 Chairman & President. Advisors will be boarding the brand-new AmaReina and sailing from Basel to Amsterdam for a “Christmas on the Rhine” luxurious celebratory voyage, in December 2014.

“As our relationship with TPI continues to grow and flourish, Ama is honoured to host TPI’s top producing travel advisors for a second year in a row at this prestigious event,” said Kristin Karst, Ama Waterways Executive Vice President and Co-Owner.

The AmaReina will be starting the voyage in Basel, with stops in Breisach, Strasbourg, Heidelburg, the Rhine Castles in Kudesheim, Cologne, and finally, Amsterdam.

“I’m honoured to jointly host our highest achievers for this incredible voyage as we recognize their tireless efforts to embody success,” 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.

TPI Celebrates Top 30 Worldwide Ranking with Virtuoso

June 11, 2014

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, celebrated its Virtuoso worldwide top 30 travel agency ranking at the recent Virtuoso Canada Supplier Showcase, Toronto, Ontario, 29 May 2014.

“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 worldwide top 30 travel agency out of 330 travel agencies comprising 7,200 travel advisors, TPI embeds value-added Virtuoso components into all of its service and programming efforts to ensure that engagement is high.

“To be top 30 worldwide with Virtuoso after less than 2 years of membership is truly incredible,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO. “Our advisors continue to understand the real relevance of what Virtuoso can provide to take their value proposition to their clients to greater heights.”

The first of its kind in Canada for Virtuoso, numerous TPI advisors and staff from across the country attended, giving TPI the second largest group presence at the event. At the event, advisors met with many of the world’s leading luxury suppliers, learned about the latest travel products, networked with their peers and industry partners, and much more.

TPI Takes 103 to Nassau to Celebrate

May 27, 2014

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), a Virtuoso member and Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors, celebrated the success of its top producing members by taking advisors, guests, and TPI staff to the Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, Nassau, Bahamas, from May 17-21, as part of the company’s annual Velocity trip.

Visiting Nassau and the surrounding areas for four nights, attendees enjoyed leisure, networking, and educational components while celebrating their success alongside their TPI peers, and a delegation of TPI staff, including Morris Chia, President and CEO, and Tim Morgan, Vice President, and TPI Regional Sales Managers, Rhonda LaFosse (Ontario), Lisa Geddes (Atlantic Canada), and Trudy McMillan (Western Canada). Dave Holt, sales and management training professional, was flown in from Toronto to provide a full-morning session focusing “on the business” which included employee and time management best practices, to assist advisors in building and managing their growing business needs.

Exclusive to TPI advisors, the industry leading 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.

TPI’s 2014 Velocity trip was generously sponsored by, TPI preferred partners, Sandals & Beaches Resorts and Air Canada.

 

TPI Wins at Sandals STAR Awards

February 25, 2014

WINNIPEG, CANADA – Travel Professionals International (TPI), Canada’s leading network of independent travel advisors and a member of Virtuoso, was recognized by Sandals Resorts at The 12th Annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (S.T.A.R.) Awards, held December 2013, at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. The S.T.A.R. Awards recognize outstanding sales performance among agents from around the world in selling Sandals, Beaches, and Grand Pineapple products.

TPI attendees at the Sandals STAR Awards (l-r): Jen Jackson, Thorold, Ontario; Donna Marshall, Barrie, Ontario; Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Susan Vincent, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Lois Barbour, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“Sandals has found an incredible partner in TPI,” said Gary C. Sadler, Senior Vice President, Sales, Unique Vacations Inc., worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Resorts, “and we’re very honoured by their ongoing commitment and success in representing Sandals brands across Canada.”

As a top producing agency for Sandals, TPI was awarded:

– Best of the Best – Canada
– Top Home Based Agency – Canada
– Top Butler Sales – Atlantic Canada (given to TPI advisor Lois Barbour)

– Chairman’s Royal Club (given to TPI advisors Lois Barbour and Jen Jackson)

With Barbour and Jackson among its members, TPI has 2 of the 12 Chairman’s Royal Club travel advisors in all of Canada.

“It was an honour to receive these prestigious awards,” said Morris Chia, TPI President & CEO. “Sandals has been a consistent supporter of TPI over the years and we are happy that our hard work in building a long-lasting relationship between our two companies has proven fruitful.”

Building on its partnership with Sandals Resorts, TPI is hosting its 2014 Velocity trip at Sandals Royal Bahamian, Bahamas. This annual luxury all-inclusive trip celebrates the achievements of TPI’s top producing advisors in its exclusive Velocity rewards program.

TPI Holds Successful Summit Series Across Canada

December 16, 2013

Travel Professionals International (TPI), held its annual TPI Summit events across Canada, 21-29 September 2013. Taking place in major centres throughout the country, advisor registration for the Summit events was over 300 – up 32% from 2012.

Tim Morgan, TPI Vice President, and Penny Martin, TPI Director of Sales, traveled across the country to deliver industry and TPI-specific updates on new programs and services consistent with TPI’s “Renewed Focus”. As previously announced, TPI has embarked on a renewed focus in three core areas which it unveiled to its network in early 2013: the recruitment, development, and retention of superb and passionate support staff and advisors, the implementation of sales-centric resources and initiatives to help grow advisors’ businesses, and the roll-out of best-in-class technologies developed in-house and with industry-leading technology partners to improve support staff and advisor productivity.

In addition, TPI Regional Sales Managers, Trudy McMillian (Western Canada), Rhonda LaFosse (Ontario), and Lisa Geddes (Atlantic Canada), hosted best practice group exercises and supplier presentations. Following the daytime events, advisors were able to network with their peers along with supplier representatives during a cocktail and trade show event plus take part in an exclusive reception for TPI’s top producing advisors. In select locations, TPI-exclusive Certified Sandals Specialist (CSS) training was also offered with over 165 advisors receiving their certification.

2013 TPI Summit dates and locations:

  • 21 September – Winnipeg, MB
  • 22 September – Regina, SK
  • 24 September – St. John’s, NL
  • 25 September – Halifax, NS
  • 26 September – Ottawa, ON
  • 27 September – Toronto, ON
  • 28 September – Vancouver, BC
  • 29 September – Red Deer, AB

The 2013 TPI Summit events were generously Platinum-sponsored by Transat Holidays and RBC Insurance, among other preferred partner participants.

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