TL Network Canada is seeing growth on all fronts, from the number of its members to an increase in demand of niche travel markets. This growth, says Vice President Christine James, is largely due to the company’s “dynamic tools and solutions” and its continued dedication to its loyal agencies. In this week’s Friday Five, we ask James about the kind of numbers the company is seeing and how its members continue to be supported on the back-end so that they’re better equipped to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.
1. Tell us about your growth plans in Canada – how many members do you currently have, what are your targets for the near future, and how do you plan to achieve those targets?
We currently have over 650 members and growing. Our sales team has played a key role in supporting the successful growth of our network over the years. In addition, we continue to receive referrals from our existing membership. On that note, I’m pleased to announce that we will soon be adding a new Sales Manager position to our team whose key focus will be on supporting the expansion of our network across the country.
2. Based on TL Network’s most recent survey, were there any findings that surprised you? And how will the company translate these findings into more bookings?
The survey indicated that 96% of respondents intend to travel either domestically or internationally this year and 89% plan to spend the same or more than the year prior, all of which is very encouraging for our business. A few other interesting notes from the survey – 36% of respondents said they vacation solo, at least occasionally, which speaks to the huge boom we are seeing in solo travel. Also, 63% said they make a point of trying local or regional wines when traveling and 44% make a point of trying local or regional craft beers which is quite interesting and points to the importance people are placing on sampling locally produced products when traveling.
3. What segment has been TL’s fastest growing? What would you attribute this to?
We’ve seen exceptional growth in all these markets but, if I had to single out one, it would have to be adventure travel. The demand of this type of travel has skyrocketed over the past few years and our travel advisors are embracing this trend by educating and preparing themselves to service their clients seeking advice on these bucket list type trips.
4. What do you think is TL Network’s most beneficial agent resource, and why?
TL Network offers best in class benefits in terms of training, enhanced commissions, powerful booking tools, innovative marketing and exclusive offers through our preferred suppliers. However, the cornerstone of our value proposition to our members is our advanced lead generation programme – Agent Profiler. During the past year, we’ve sent over 5,100 leads to our members who have published profiles through our consumer site – www.CanadianTravelAgents.ca. Resulting sales are averaging $6,665 per booking.
5. TL Network Canada has its Regional Conferences this year. What can agents expect at each event? And what’s the one takeaway you hope agents will leave with following these events?
Our Fall Regionals, themed PEAK (Programmes, Education, Advisors and Knowledge), are by far our biggest Canadian events of the year and 2019 will be no exception! We’ll be hosting these conferences at four cities across the country again this year including Markham, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Each event is in October and we are expecting over 450 of our members to take advantage of all the learning and training opportunities offered. The key takeaway would be to encourage our advisors to take advantage of our dynamic tools and solutions that will help them reach the PEAK of their performance in their agencies!