TL Network Advisors Meet As Travel Rebounds

A bright outlook for travel commerce is guiding meetings and discussions for over 1,500 travel professionals who have gathered in Colorado this week for the international EDGE (Educate, Discover, Gather, Evolve) conference by the Travel Leaders Network.

They have assembled at the sprawling Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, in the town of Aurora near Denver, reports Baxter Media western editor Ted Davis, who is onsite at the conference. Amongst the attendees are travel retailer members, supplier partners and Travel Leaders staff, from both Canada and the U.S.

They are all participating in a busy schedule of keynote presentations, supplier product sessions and skills workshops. And they are doing so with the knowledge that the travel industry is going through a transformative period that is both challenging and rewarding.

“We are now in a golden age for travel advisors,” said Travel Leaders Group president John Lovell. Within the Group is the TL Network consortia operation, its host agency and wholly-owned cruise, leisure and specialty agencies.

Lovell referred to the fact that consumers are emerging from the pandemic restrictions with a pent-up demand for travel and disposable budgets available for vacation aspirations. But they are doing so with a lack of knowledge about fast-changing COVID-related regulations across international jurisdictions, and while supplier programs and products are quickly evolving to meet demand.

As a result, the call for travel information by qualified advisors has been greatly amplified – to the benefit of Travel Leaders advisors. “More people who haven’t used a travel agent before are looking to use one now,” said Lovell. “In our keyword data, customers who had never used a travel agent were up 31% compared to 2019.”

At the EDGE conference are multiple general sessions to announce new programs for TLN members. Attendees have their choice of over 200 workshops covering various booking tools, plus a trade show and an Experience Lounge for appointments with TL Network staff experts.

Also at EDGE is Destination Connections, where advisors can meet with tourism board partners in small-group appointments, and a Hotel & In-Country Partner Marketplace. A gala dinner is being held to honour EDGE award winners and those who have achieved a TLN Specialist Certification this year.

“EDGE 2022 is an amazing conference,” said Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders Network. “As the travel industry continues its remarkable recovery, EDGE is a time to celebrate all that TLN members have achieved and that the best is yet to come.” The conference runs from June 12 to 15.

In the Photo

Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders Network (left), joined Travel Leaders Group president John Lovell on stage during the EDGE International Conference in Colorado this week.