When TPI surveyed its members this summer about plans for promoting travel, 78% said they were ready to “re-ignite” their travel marketing plans this fall, and of that 78%, some 63% said they had never stopped promoting travel during COVID-19, just modified their approach.
The high percentages showed “incredible engagement from our Advisors,” says TPI President & CEO, Zeina Gedeon.
Gedeon tells Sphere that based on feedback from TPI’s survey and its weekly network calls, the host agency launched its fall campaign last month, working with supplier partners on exclusive Advisor and consumer incentives.
“We created pre-templated emails, social media posts, postcard templates, exclusive consumer virtual nights for our Advisors and their clients,” says Gedeon. “Over the past four weeks, we have had over 482 clients attend our virtual nights.”
Not only that, bookings are up. “Our Advisors are very engaged with our key supplier partners and have been proactively reaching out to their clients that are holding Future Travel Credits as well as past clients who have indicated their desire to travel to get them booked for future vacations. We have seen a spike in our bookings over the past four weeks which is reassuring. This means that our clients are ready to travel.”
All eyes are on clients and their travel intentions but TPI is committed to helping Advisors through this unprecedented time too, says Gedeon.
“We have launched our TPI Cares Support Program designed to help Advisors and agencies through this period of booking unpredictability,” she says. “Through this program, we are offering a guaranteed commission split for two years based on 2019 sales levels.”
Even in the early months of COVID-19, host agencies were reporting an uptick in calls and emails from agents looking to go home-based. That trend continues, and Gedeon says more inquiries are coming in.
“We are very pleased to see the overwhelming interest from both storefront agencies and experienced travel experts who were previously with storefront offices to join forces with our network,” she says. “We are having great discussions with those looking for the freedom and flexibility to choose their own hours, manage and grow their own client base and book with the suppliers they want (at TPI, we pay top commissions on ALL supplier partners) which is especially attractive to those who book FIT custom international holidays and niche destinations.”
TPI is also gearing up for its annual conference, which is taking place virtually, of course. Scheduled for Nov. 2 – 5, 2020, the conference – themed ‘Re-Ignite’ – will inspire TPI Advisors to proactively re-ignite, re-invent, re-vamp and re-focus business, skills and strategy – and cement the foundation to enable to be ready for the future of travel, say Gedeon.