Travel Leaders Group president John Lovell expects his network’s members will be frequently wishing their clients bon voyage next year.
Lovell, speaking Tuesday from Travel Leaders Network’s Oct. 18-21 EDGE international conference in Orlando, conceded it’s been “a tough road” for the travel industry recently but added business is rebounding for members and will continue to gain strength.
“People are travelling again … We’re on the other side of this pandemic,” said Lovell, crediting vaccinations in part for the turnaround.
He noted the travel industry is seeing new developments, including new cruise ships.
Lovell said he’s “very encouraged” about the coming year, stating “2023 could be a stellar year for us.”
Roger Block, TLN’s president, in turn said TLN has been adding members as of late, “which is kind of interesting” given the pandemic.
Christine James, vice-president, TL Network Canada, reported TLN has recently gained 38 new members in this country and now has over 700 Canadian members.
TLN decided against hosting EDGE last year because of coronavirus and its return was cited as a positive development for travel.
“It feels surreal but wonderful to gather again,” said Block. “EDGE is a treasured tradition to Travel Leaders Network and our members, and the energy is like no other. Travel advisors will find a tremendous number of great, actionable business ideas and inspiration, but they are also incredibly eager to see each other in person to renew and build connections.”
Some 1,400 registered attendees are on hand for the conference, making it the largest live conference the company has had since the spring of 2019. TLN has instituted a number of safety measures for the gathering.
The conference has consisted of daily general sessions with company and supplier updates from the mainstage and over 100 workshops. New this year is the concept of a tiered learning system, with TLN members placed in a training track which allows them to get the education they need, whether they are a new travel advisor or the owner of a large, established agencies.
“As we celebrate the recovery of travel at EDGE, we also celebrate the resilience of the travel advisor, and the way they have fought through the incredible challenges our industry has faced,” said Block. “The pandemic has taught us the incredible importance of travel and human connections. Being together with our fabulous partners, including our host, Universal Orlando, and each other, is something that has been sorely missed.”
Here in Canada, TL Network celebrated some of its award winners …
Christine James & Kyle Oram
Victoria, BC’s KVI Travel was given the Member Engagement Star Award. This award recognizes an agency that has been a prolific user of TL Network’s vast sources of support, such as programs, tools and educational offerings. The Member Engagement Star Award winner is expected to have leveraged these programs to successfully manage their business. KVI Travel is owned by Kyle Oram.
Christine James & Lola Vassiliadis
The Peer-to-Peer Service Award winner, Cruise Holidays of Oakville, located in Oakville, ON, has generously shared their time and knowledge with their fellow TLN members, TLN management and the travel industry. Lola Vassiliadis is the owner of Cruise Holidays of Oakville.
Christine James & Carlton Montaut
The 2021 President’s Award winner is someone who embodies each of the award attributes, in addition to showing sales success and being a top member of TL Network. Carlton Montaut of Centre Holidays Inc. in Mississauga ON is this year’s honouree.