NASHVILLE — That’s a wrap on EDGE 2023, Travel Leaders Network’s annual conference, which took place this year in Nashville, Tennessee.
Some 1,700 TLN members, staff and supplier partners descended upon the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center from May 8-10 for the conference, which included workshops, General Sessions and the ‘Power of the Partnership (POP) Awards’ where both travel agencies and suppliers were honoured.
On the winning agencies, Christine James, Vice President of Travel Leaders Network Canada, said: “Travel Leaders Network is proud to recognize and honour these member agencies for their outstanding success, demonstrated partnership with preferred suppliers and dedication o serving their clients. Each of our outstanding member winners has excelled in their profit-making ability and personalized customer service and has worked diligently to earn this distinction.”
This year’s travel agency winners included:
- Chairman’s Pinnacle Award: Travel Best Bets, Burnaby, BC
- Chairman’s Elite Award: KVI Travel, Victoria, BC
- Chairman’s Host Award: Centre Holiday Inc., Mississauga, ON
- President’s Circle Award, Large agency: Northstar Travel, Kitchener, ON
- President’s Circle Award, Midsize agency: Cruise Holidays, Oakville, ON
- President’s Circle Award, Small agency: McPhail Travel, Moosomin, SK
- Member of the Year Award: The Travel Agent Next Door Inc., Surrey, BC
- New Member Award: 510 Travel, Scarborough, ON
The Member of the Year Award is presented to the agency with top network sales performance. The Chairman’s Pinnacle Award is presented to the affiliate member agency with the highest referred supplier sales. The Chairman’s Elite Award recognizes outstanding sales performance and overall support of the Travel Leaders Network partnership. The Chairman’s Host Award goes to the top host agency overall.
The President’s Award honours agencies in three size categories that had the greatest year-over-year growth with Travel Leaders Network Preferred Supplier Sales. The new Member Award recognizes the top new affiliate member agency.
On the supplier side, winners were chosen based on providing tremendous support in areas of agent interest such as marketing, technology, sales support and education and training.
This year’s Sales and Service Partner of the Year was awarded to TravelBrands, while the Overall Support Partner of the Year went to Sunwing.
Other supplier winners included:
- Mass Market Tour Partner: WestJet Vacations
- Escorted Tour Partner of the Year: Globus family of brands
- Top Resort/Hotel Partner: Sandals
- Adventure Tour Partner: G Adventures
- Best Educational Programmes: Manulife
- Most Creative Marketing: AmaWaterways
“This year’s supplier partner honorees continually go above and beyond for our TL Network Canada agencies and their clients,” added James. “These awards are voted in by our membership, recognizing these suppliers for their commitment to our industry and our Travel Leaders Network family as inspiring, powerful and woven within our most cherished value – our partnerships.”
RECORD NUMBER OF LEADS
During EDGE 2023, TL Network also announced the delivery of a record-breaking number of leads to its members in 2022. Last year, over 12,000 leads were delivered, representing a 224% growth from 2021 and a 145% growth from the pre-pandemic high of 2019. These leads represented $20 million in sales with preferred supplier partners and $2.5 million in commission earned by members.
As of the end of the first quarter of 2023, TLN members had received 97,000 leads since Jan. 1, 2023, putting lead generation numbers on the path to surpass 2022 by 54%.
“Bringing in solid leads that will become bookings is a core priority for most travel advisors,” said Stephen McGillivray, Chief Marketing Officer of Travel Leaders Group. “With the post-pandemic travel boom, the issue has become not only how do advisors get clients, but hos do travellers find the perfect advisor for their trip? TravelLeaders.com, powered by Agent Profiler, is the answer that ‘matchmakes’ these two groups for a great solution for both.”
In the past year, TLN introduced the ‘Super Agent’ designation, where heavy users of Agent Profiler can earn a badge that will bring them to the top of searches, making it easy for advisors to be noticed and travellers to zero in on experts. CanadianTravelAgents.ca also now offers a multi-facet search for pinpointed search results based on location, destination and travel niche, all at once. Users can even see sample itineraries when using CanadianTravelAgents.ca to search for an advisor.
NEW LEADERS ALLIANCE COMING Q4
Travel Leaders Network’s Leaders Alliances, launched in 2021, continue to provide top-performing members with communities of their own, focused on their niches. The network currently has three thriving Alliances, with a fourth starting this quarter.
The Luxury Leaders Alliance and the Independent Advisor Networks Leaders Alliance both launched in 2021. This was followed by the Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Leaders Alliance in February 2023. Coming in Q4 this year will be the Technology Leaders Alliance, available only to owner and manager-level members and acting as a platform to share and learn about tools that exist outside of Travel Leaders Network.
“Because of TLN’s size, we are fortunate enough to have many members who are incredibly successful in their areas,” said Roger E. Block, President of Travel Leaders Network. “It made sense to develop communities where these people could learn from their peers. Alliance members have proven their expertise through their sales, and by banding together, can have better access to supplier partners in their area, new ideas and new contacts.”
For more information go to www.TravelLeadersNetwork.com.