Travel Leaders Network welcomed travel professionals to its 152nd Agency Owners and Managers Mixer Event for Western Canada, held in Calgary on Feb. 20, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Calgary South.
Independent agents attended the pre-mixer training sessions put on by preferred suppliers Silversea Cruises, MSC Cruises and WestJet Vacations. A small trade show followed complete with dinner and cocktails for members to network and mingle with other agency owners and preferred travel partners.
Sue Urie, TL Network's business solutions manager for Western Canada, was pleased with the turnout.
“Despite the cold weather, ice and snow, we have a good array of suppliers present and lots of agents anxious to learn,” Urie said. “That's what this is all about. You need to want to learn in order to succeed in this business.”
Chaz Dunwoody, area sales director for Silversea Cruises, began the afternoon with an overview of the cruise line, a fleet of nine ships visiting more than 1015 ports and seven continents to provide travellers with a “bucket list” luxury cruise travel experience. Between their classic ships and their expedition ships, travellers can enjoy an all-inclusive experience, complete with butler service for the ultimate in luxury travel. The adventure and expedition travel market is the largest growing market in their line up and Silverseas is actively refining their products to meet the demand while including many value added experiences.
Mavis Lau, business development manager for Western and Central Canada, presented updates on the newest ships to be added to their line up, the MSC Meraviglia and the MSC Seaside. The MSC Meraviglia provides a Las Vegas-style vibe, complete with Cirque de Soleil shows at sea and a partnership with Technogym for a technologically-advanced fitness experience onboard. The Yacht Club is perfect for a small ship experience aboard the big ship, giving travellers the best of both worlds, including 24-hour butler service for a full luxury vacation experience. Family cabins are available to sleep up to six or 10 passengers in one cabin, making it a great option for multigenerational families travelling together. A small number of solo cabins are also available for single travellers.
Emily Spadafora from WestJet and WestJet Vacations highlighted all the new schedule changes and destinations that WestJet has added to their fleet, as it begins its expansion towards global airline status. The recent schedule changes have focused on positioning Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto as the airline's major hub centers in Canada with increased frequency of flights and connectivity of other cities. New destinations include Denver, Paris, Mexico City and Whitehorse, along with increased frequency to all major routes it currently services.
The trade show following the training sessions allowed agents to network with other preferred travel partners including Air New Zealand, AMResorts, Rocky Mountaineer and Sunwing.