TORONTO — UNIGLOBE Travel marked a milestone event this past weekend: its first ever national conference, bringing in UNIGLOBE travel advisors from coast to coast and building on the strengths from both UNIGLOBE (Eastern Canada) and UNIGLOBE (Western Canada).
Part and parcel with the strong turnout from both sides of the UNIGLOBE brand in Canada, the conference, which took place Nov. 15 – 17 at the Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport, also drew the largest ever group of suppliers in UNIGLOBE’s history, said Dean Dacko, Regional President, UNIGLOBE Travel (Eastern Canada).
UNIGLOBE remains the only Canadian-owned global travel management company, said Dacko in his opening remarks on Saturday morning.
UNIGLOBE is also well positioned heading into 2020 with its mix of leisure and corporate sales. For UNIGLOBE West, it’s 80% leisure, 20% corporate. For UNIGLOBE East, it’s the exact opposite: 80% corporate, and 20% leisure. The global corporate travel market is on track to meet GBTA’s projection of US$1.6 trillion in 2020. SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are the drivers behind the growth of the global corporate travel market “and that’s where our brand really resonates,” says Dacko.
Bleisure travel, where corporate travellers tack on a few days of vacation travel to their business trip, is also right in UNIGLOBE’s sweet spot. Dacko pointed to a 2018 study by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, whree 39% of young professionals said they wouldn’t take a job that didn’t offer travel opportunities.
The future is bright for UNIGLOBE and all delegates at the Toronto conference were treated to a free pair of Maui Jim sunglasses to underscore the message.
The theme for the 2019 conference was ‘People. Purpose. Passion’. UNIGLOBE is now 6,000 people strong, with presence in 60 countries around the world. “Our people are our backbone and our greatest strength,” said Irv Wright, Regional Owner & Regional President, UNIGLOBE Travel (Western Canada). “We are a global organization that we should all be very proud of,” he said to cheers from the audience. “Thank you for helping make UNIGLOBE what it is today.”
UNIGLOBE’s purpose is tied to its core values, including initiative, integrity and dependability. And no one has a passion for travel like UNIGLOBE, he adds. “We are ever-changing in an ever-evolving travel industry.”
This first-ever national conference was the latest example of UNIGLOBE (Eastern Canada) and UNIGLOBE (Western Canada) working together. “When willingness outweighs differences, many things can happen,” said Frank Dennis, Regional Owner, UNIGLOBE Travel (Eastern Canada). The two divisions have also forged a new joint GDS partnership and a joint Owner’s Retreat.
“These are just the tip of the iceberg. We can do more, much more,” said Dennis. Down the road, UNIGLOBE (Eastern Canada) and UNIGLOBE (Western Canada) are also looking at working together on joint technology initiatives, joint preferred partner relationships and joint lead generation programs, said Dennis.