It’s one thing to know that travel agent associations are lobbying the government on agents’ behalf. It’s another to actually hear it and see it in action.
TORONTO — Now is not the time for sugar-coating. Now is the time for inspiration, solidarity and sound strategy. And that’s exactly what TPI Re-Ignite is aiming to deliver to its Advisors this week, with a four-day conference schedule of live sessions and networking opportunities with TPI’s head office team as well as TPI Advisors, and supplier partners.
Yesterday’s opening address by TPI’s National Director of Sales, Caroline Hay, got the ball rolling on Day 1, and set the tone for TPI Re-Ignite with 400+ TPI Travel Advisors from across Canada signed up, plus 42 supplier partners.
The online conference runs Nov. 2 – 5 and Travelweek is TPI’s media partner for the event, with exclusive coverage all this week in Travelweek Daily.
Hay’s opening remarks were a mix of common sense and stark reality, as TPI Advisors and the travel industry face their biggest challenge yet with the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a bit of humour too. “You’ve no doubt heard that expression, ‘If you love what you do then you’ll never work a day in your life’,” said Hay. “Well, it seems like over the past seven or eight months we have certainly proved that wrong.”
Travel agents have been working tirelessly since the pandemic’s travel restrictions started in March and the hardships have put retailers to the test like never before, said Hay. “Out of the depths we came together,” she said. “TPI has grown stronger together. We have cried together, laughed together, commiserated together, strategized together.”
Ultimately, says Hay, “working together as one unit makes us stronger. We will survive and we will prosper.”
TPI’s President and CEO Zeina Gedeon echoed Hay’s words in her Business Review session yesterday morning. “We are working together today so we can thrive together tomorrow,” said Gedeon, telling TPI Advisors that, “your commitment to TPI and each other will make all the difference.”
Gedeon offered an overview of how TPI is faring in this extremely difficult year. Here are the highlights…
Staying in touch with TPI Advisors is crucial, say Gedeon and Hay. The duo host what has affectionately become known as ‘The Z&C Show’ with over 80 episodes of the webcasts since the pandemic began. TPI also created the TPI COVID portal with the latest info, and sends out reviews of supplier policies. TPI also updates its Advisors with its negotiations and discussions with suppliers, government programs and ACTA’s advocacy efforts. Advisors can also get constant updates on Insider, says Gedeon.
FY20 VELOCITY STANDINGS
TPI recognizes the impact that refunds and low demand are having on Advisors’ income. TPI is pausing its Velocity program until 2022. Over 30% of the Advisors were kept at their FY19 Velocity level and commission split, says Gedeon. And 15% of the Advisors achieved a higher recognition standing.
TPI’s marketing efforts continue even as travel stays in its holding pattern. TPI’s deliverables so far for 2020 include consumer email marketing, co-op banners on Advisor websites, blog posts, new consumer-facing marketing posts, new CBO email templates and TPI’s cookbook, ‘Travel Eats with TPI’. Resources for COVID-19 include TPI’s Advisor exclusive portal, and TPI@Home.