FCTG Independent’s top advisors wrap up global reward journey

FCTG’s Independent Division has wrapped up its inaugural Independent Icons trip, uniting independent travel agency owners and mobile advisors from Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

This journey featured 71 agents from 55 agencies and 11 representatives from nine supplier partners, sailing the Danube aboard the SS Beatrice accompanied by Uniworld’s CEO Ellen Betridge.

Over four nights, attendees experienced a curated celebration, commencing with champagne toasts and a white-themed evening starng in Budapest, followed by exploring the rich history of Braslava and culminang in Vienna at a spectacular “A Touch of Gold” farewell soiree.

Julie Smigadis of Travel Our World said: “What an incredible experience getting the chance to meet the top agency owners from around the globe. What company provides such a valuable experience to its independent agents? Being able to network and bounce ideas off successful colleagues from different parts of the world is a true game changer for my business mindset. I was lucky enough to connect with so many people that can further the reach of my own business here in Canada from both a colleague and supplier perspective. Uniworld was a class act and treated us like absolute Icons from start to finish.”

Adam Taylor, another attendee, observed that: “Meeting colleagues from other businesses, and celebrating our success was just what I needed. Discussing what was working and perhaps not working in their market allowed me to take a step back and see everyone has something that may not be perfect in their area of the Globe. We certainly have some things to be thankful for. Uniworld delivered an incredible experience and look forward to working together with them on behalf of my clients.”

Supplier partners, including TTC Tour Brands Australia and The Inclusive Collection, also lauded the event, with Andrew Young praising the lineup of entrepreneurs and expressing commitment to shared success. “It’s a formidable lineup of entrepreneurs and small business guns you’ve assembled, and we stand with you, side by side, on a shared journey to new heights.”

The Icons were treated to special experiences, such as a Be My Guest event at Schieszl Winery, courtesy of Trafalgar, where attendees enjoyed wine tasting in the family’s 300-year-old wine cellar and enjoying hearty Hungarian fare, utilizing the produce grown on the land as well as a generous three-night stay from The Inclusive Collection, Part of the World of Hyatt for all advisor attendees.

Building on the success of Icons, we are proud to announce the planting of 1963 trees — a carbon offset equivalent of 322 tons — in collaboration with Trees4Travel and our sustainability sponsor, Allianz Global Assistance.

Commenting on the success of the event, Anita Emilio, VP & GM of Luxury, and Independent Brands in Canada, said: “As we reflect on the success of the Independent Icons trip, we’re not just celebrating a journey; we’re honouring the dedication and collaborative spirit of our Independent agency owners and suppliers.”

Emilio continued: “This incredible experience stands as a testament to their hard work, and I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our supplier sponsors who made it all possible. The Independent Icons trip has forged a dynamic platform for engagement, networking, and mutual learning. Plans are already in motion for next year’s edition, promising even greater opportunities for growth, connection, and shared success.”