TL Network celebrates a year of accomplishments
Bleisure, Last Chance travel trending for 2018
(Photo above: Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Network, Christine James, vice-president, Canada, TL Network, and John Lovell, president, Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group)
Agents interested in where their clients’ interests may lie this year may want to look at what’s trending for 2018, according to Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group president John Lovell.
This includes Bleisure travel (extended corporate travel trips), Sproup – a word coined by TL Network – and meaning special access, special perks for groups, and adventure travel (which does not necessarily mean climbing Mount Everest). Also trending are sustainable, socially responsible travel and “Last Chance” tourism (people wanting to see it before it changes, such as the Big 5 in Africa).
“Clients are looking for something out of the ordinary,” said Lovell. “They want to do something extraordinary, and this is where the travel professional can really come into play.”
Lovell was in Toronto last week with a group of TL Network executives as the organization – the unified brand of Vacation.com, Travel Leaders and Results! Travel – marked its first anniversary and celebrated what has proved to be a very successful year.
Accomplishments over the past year include expanded global and supplier partnerships, enhanced educational offerings and significantly expanded marketing programs.
Lovell said 2017 proved to be a “very, very good year,” and while it’s too early for exact numbers, the company turned the year in really good shape. He said supplier partners are reporting that business is strong across the board.
“Consumer confidence is extremely high and that spend is working its way through the system,” said Lovell. “We’re very encouraged.”
Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Network, noted that “joining together under the TL Network banner benefited our members in a number of ways, providing them opportunities to grow their business, earn more and offer unique travel benefits to their customers. This is evidenced, in part, by the more than 47% year-over-year increase in qualified leads delivered to our members utilizing our award-winning Agent Profiler-powered web site, CanadianTravelAgents.ca, which uses a multi-faceted approach to lead generation.”
Lovell added, “the merging of our operations certainly made us more efficient as a business and enabled us, as a best-in-class organization, to provide improved opportunities to our agency members and supplier partners. We delivered upon our operating goals, while meeting their expectations, and even exceeding them in some key areas.”
Block said the transition was accepted incredibly well from membership.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” he said.
Through marketing partnerships, education and value-added programs, TL Network heightened its partnerships with suppliers and destinations during 2017, including exclusive offers and special amenity programs for cruise and hotel. This resulted in continued enhancements to the Distinctive Voyages cruise program and Select Hotels & Resorts program.
“Our power as one network enhances our relationship with our suppliers in both the leisure and corporate travel areas,” said Block.
Officials also announced that their annual international conference will be held June 12-16 in Las Vegas. The theme for this year and in the future is EDGE – “Educate, Discover, Gather, Evolve.”
TL Network is comprised of nearly 6,800 locations in both the United States and Canada. During 2017, 51 locations were added in Canada bringing the total to 700.