After close to a year of virtual training, webinars and events, TravelOnly celebrated the return of its very successful live training workshops on Nov. 27 in Toronto.
More than 50 TravelOnly advisors, partners and executives were in attendance and the energy and excitement in the room was palpable.
CFO Ann Luciani kicked off the event with a heartfelt message to the audience (which included a live broadcast to over 50 advisors across Canada).
Luciani reflected on the challenges of the past year and recognized that many in the room had suffered both professional and personal losses.
But she also highlighted the amazing camaraderie evident among TravelOnly advisors during the pandemic; stressing the importance of community and what TravelOnly stands for as an organization as a pathway for future success.
Said Luciani: “We’re a family company, with family values and I am certain that with the personal and professional expertise of our Associates and Affiliates community, combined with our state-of-the-art technology, TravelOnly is best positioned to lead our industry into the future.”
TravelOnly’s CEO and president, Gregory Luciani agreed, pointing out that: “We’re not just here to survive, we’re here to thrive. There is nothing more important than reconnecting with each other and our preferred partners.”
He continued: “The world needs expert, professional travel advisors more than ever and if you aren’t staying on top the latest restrictions and requirements, your clients are going to go elsewhere.”
Bookings have grown exponentially over November — the highest since the pandemic — and TravelOnly wants to ensure their advisors have every tool available to them to manage the demand.
Ian Elliott, VP of Sales and Marketing, observed: “It’s incredibly important that our advisors have the confidence to answer the call, email or text from clients and let them know that ‘Yes, it is safe to travel’ and ‘I can help you every step of the way.”
To that end, TravelOnly has launched “Consumer Confidence” events with key partners to help clients (and their advisors) feel comfortable with the process when crossing a border or boarding a cruise ship.
Said Elliott: “Travel has always been somewhat of an anxious process but the pandemic, vaccine and testing requirements add just another layer of uneasiness. We are encouraging all of our advisors to get out into the world, travel and show clients that it is easy and safe to travel, as long as you work with a professional travel advisor.”
And he also explained that the pandemic has helped TravelOnly take a new look at the way they train and support their advisors.
Working with Shannon Smith, TravelOnly’s Director of Training and Leia Marvin, TravelOnly’s VP of Client Success, it has developed a series of sales focused workshops that involved suppliers from all sectors. They then layered in focused small group training sessions throughout the day so that each preferred partner had the opportunity to discuss practical ways to market and grow sales with their brand. They also had a little bit of fun with a ton of great prizes and a festive holiday lunch for all.
The workshop was a huge success, evidenced by the positive feedback from both suppliers and partners and Marvin feels that these types of sessions will be critical over the next 12 months.
Said Marvin: “Our goal is to help every one of our independent travel advisors recover and grow their sales in 2022. Every chance we get to interact with our membership is an opportunity to discuss the sales and marketing activities and support they will need to succeed. We know that it is not a one-size fits all approach and we will be there to help every advisor through this period and into a very successful New Year.”
While many advisors across the country couldn’t make it for this workshop, more than 100 are expected to arrive in Toronto for TravelOnly’s National Conference and Awards Jan. 28 to Jan. 29, 2022.