Travel Professionals International (TPI) kicked off its 2017 Annual Conference, “Secrets to Success,” on Monday, Nov.14, 2017, welcoming more than 200 travel advisors, guests, staff and supplier partners to the Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa in the Dominican Republic.
Hosted by TPI along with sponsor partners Air Canada, Air Canada Vacations, and AMResorts, the Annual Conference allows travel advisors from across Canada to come together for a week of multi-faceted networking, business development workshops, expert presentations and product education.
Morris Chia, TPI president and CEO, greeted attendees by applauding the resiliency of TPI’s advisors in the face of the year’s natural disasters, as well as the news that sales are up for the fiscal year-to-date (beginning Aug. 1), including record-breaking increases in cruise, hotel, and insurance.
Assisting in leading future sales growth for the company are technological innovations within its proprietary Lynx system, allowing advisors to market more efficiently and effectively, according to Chia.
“We all collaborated and worked as a team, and throughout it all, the common thread was our relationship,” said Chia, adding that the key to ensuring continued success is not only innovation and growth; it’s also about synergy and communication.
“The ability for us to connect,” he said, “to have that personal connection with all of you – that is what gives you the ability to shine, and reinforce the relationships that you have.”
Bob Becker, senior vice-president of sales for Norwegian Cruise Lines and a keynote speaker for this year’s conference, also took the stage on opening day to impart his hard-won wisdom on sales success, sharing secrets from his trademarked “Dirt to Diamonds” program with TPI advisors.
“Eighty-five per cent of consumers tend to switch products after they book a cruise, which means 15 per cent of clients stay loyal,” Becker told the room, pointing out that such numbers emphasize the importance of staying in touch with a client. “By staying in touch with your client,” he added, “you create relationships to last a lifetime.”
Jen Langlois, a Club Velocity travel advisor, remarked that attending the conference allows her to connect and collaborate with people she doesn’t usually get to see throughout the year.
“It’s a little like a high school reunion,” she said, going on to explain that while events like Velocity Day are a nice perk, the real reason she’s with TPI is for the support.
“I’m part of TPI because it allows me to focus on my clients while also giving me the resources to grow,” she explained. “Otherwise, I’d be doing it all alone.”