Monday,  November 18, 2019  1:29 pm

Building on success: TPI marks 25 years, looks to top 2018 growth


Building on success: TPI marks 25 years, looks to top 2018 growth
Of TPI: (from left) Caroline Hay, national director, marketing & sales engagement; Zeina Gedeon, CEO; Sandra Clementino, events & marketing coordinator; Sneha Varghese, marketing manager.
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

Following the most successful year in the company’s history, Travel Professionals International (TPI) is looking to make the year ahead even better with a continued focus on education for its member advisors and working even more closely with preferred travel partners.

The host agency welcomed dozens of its industry partners to an exclusive reception in downtown Toronto last night, reflecting on the success of the past 25 years while looking ahead to an even brighter future.

READ MORE: TPI at 25: continued focus on strong partnerships, marketing

“You all play a crucial role in building trust through the exceptional support that you provide to our network and we thank you for this,” said Colton Chia, TPI’s director of partnerships. “We just wrapped up our 25th year in business and we wouldn’t be here without you. It was our most successful year ever in terms of sales and recruitment.”

The success of 2018 will ensure that TPI forges even closer relationships with preferred partners in the future, Chia said, taking a strategic approach to growth, such as increasing targeted sales through the use of advisor data.

“Looking ahead, we know that you’re growing and we want to grow with you,” he said. “We ask that you think of us when planning your strategy for Canada. We want to give all of our business to preferred partners.”

Colton Chia, TPI’s director of partnerships

Education is key

TPI CEO Zeina Gedeon told PAX that advisor education continues to be a main focus for the host agency in light of last year’s successes, which saw FIT packages driving the surge in sales. While FIT will remain a key focus, Gedeon added that training on selling cruises along with groups – particularly weddings and adventure travel ­– are also major parts of TPI’s advisor education strategy.

“We had put a lot of focus over the last year to educate our advisors on how to sell,” she said. “We gave them a lot of tools and training, plus many regional meetings where we got suppliers, who work very closely with us to ensure that they’re educating the agents instead of just talking to them.”

Quebec on the grow

While the majority of TPI advisors hail from Ontario, Gedeon said that Atlantic and Western Canada along with Quebec are growing as well. In Quebec, where TPI has just under 20 advisors, Gedeon noted that growth has taken place despite minimal advertising by the host agency.

Uplift = upsell

TPI also recently partnered with Uplift, a travel financing program launched in Canada earlier this year. According to Gedeon, the platform has been well-received by TPI advisors, particularly those looking for another tool to help leverage sales of luxury packages.

“They love it!” Gedeon said of advisors’ reception of Uplift. “We’re seeing our luxury advisors use the program to increase their sales. They might say ‘your budget is $5,000 but I have this out-of-this-world experience for $6,000,’ and they can cover the rest with Uplift. It’s a huge upsell opportunity for our agents.”

Denise Heffron, managing director for Canada at Uplift and Joseph Adamo, Chief Distribution Officer, Transat & President, TDC

Wendy Paradis, president, ACTA & Richard Smart, president & CEO, TICO

Rod Hanna, director of sales - Canada, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority; Zeina Gedeon, CEO, TPI; Dave Wright, director of sales, Ontario & Atlantic Canada; Amanda Morris, BDM - Eastern Canada, Playa Resorts & Hotels; Erminia Gallina, general manager, Air Canada Vacations.


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