LAS VEGAS — Travel Leaders Network’s annual international EDGE conference, taking place this week at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, included honours for TL Network Canada’s top supplier partners during its 12th annual ‘Power of the Partnership’ Awards.
“This year’s supplier partner honourees continually go above and beyond for our TL Network Canada agencies and their clients,” says TL Network Canada Vice President Christine James. “We are proud to recognize each of them for the tremendous value and customer service they provide.”
James says the 2018 Top Supplier Awards were chosen based on exceeding overall needs and providing exceptional support in specific areas of agent interest such as marketing, technology, sales support and education, and training.
This year’s Pinnacle Partner of the Year Award was given to WestJet Vacations. The Sales Support Partner of the Year was awarded to Manulife Insurance. Sales Achievement Partner of the Year was awarded to Sunwing Vacations/Signature Vacations.
More than 40,000 travel agents in Canada, the U.S. and internationally are now part of TL Network.
“We’re intent on providing our members with a competitive edge, and that includes having the right tools, training, support and strategic relationships, combined with our scale and scope, to position them for the greatest possible success,” said John Lovell, President of Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group.
The past year has been marked by expansion in many areas that will improve the competitive position of members and increase their opportunities to make money, added Roger Block, President of Travel Leaders Network. “We’re raising the bar to help our agencies succeed and ensure they are better equipped to serve their customers and gain new ones.”
Here’s a look at TL Network by the numbers:
The number of TL Network agents actively involved in the organization’s 6 specialist programs has risen to 1,612 and increases each month. Programs range from leisure travel, business travel, group travel, luxury travel, honeymoon and destination weddings, and active and adventure. Some 374 agents have graduated from the programs and the network offers over 500 training opportunities to its member agents throughout the year.
- Lead Generation
Within Agent Profiler, which is a free benefit for TL Network agents that provides consumers direct access to travel professionals via TLNetwork.ca, nearly 5,500 agents (500+ in Canada) are now displaying online, representing expertise in 135,000 destinations and 53,000 interests. Through the end of May, organic traffic to TLNetwork.ca was up 45% year over year. Driven in large part by the company’s unique content management and SEO strategy, an estimated 140,000 leads are anticipated for the full year 2018. The average sale on leads generated through Agent Profiler is currently in excess of $5,000. Agent Profiler 2.0 launched earlier this year.
- Perks at Sea
TL Network is offering more than 300 hosted sailings this year across nine premium and luxury suppliers as part of its Distinctive Voyages program. Each of these cruises features a host, private cocktail reception, and complimentary shore excursion. Additionally, within Distinctive Voyages is the Car & Driver program, which was first introduced last year and has proven “hugely popular”, says James. The number of participating cruise lines has doubled to six. These luxury cruises feature the use of a private car and driver in a port of call.
In 2018 TL Network is offering some 100 cruises as part of its Culinary Collection. Beyond those programs, there are an additional 3,500 cruises available through TL Network in 2018. There are now 17 different cruise lines partnering on the program.
- Hotels Online
A new website, selecthotelsresorts.com, recently launched for the Travel Leaders SELECT Hotel program, features 100s of hotels and resorts that provide VIP amenities to clients of TL Network agents.
- Introduction of Agency Buying/Selling Website
TL Network also recently introduced a new website, buymytravelagency.com, that matches owners who are interested in purchasing other agencies with prospective sellers. Potential agency buyers can purchase a display ad describing their existing business, the types of agencies they’d like to acquire, geographical parameters and other requirements. Selling parties can review the ads and connect via the website with potential purchasers.
“The creation of an online vehicle such as this that connects prospective agency buyers and sellers was long overdue and this website is going to serve a valuable purpose for our industry,” said Block.