Friday,  December 3, 2021  11:41 am

Q&A: TL Network Canada’s Christine James talks strategy as agents, suppliers meet in Toronto


Q&A: TL Network Canada’s Christine James talks strategy as agents, suppliers meet in Toronto
From left (of TL Network Canada): Christine James, VP; Melissa Wheaton, business solutions manager, Eastern Canada. (Supplied)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

TL Network Canada’s in-person Fall Regional Event series landed in Toronto on Wednesday (Nov. 10) at Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport, drawing a happy and smiling crowd of around 190 member agents and 34 suppliers, TLN said.

The event is one of three events TL Network is hosting this month – its Canadian Fall Regional Events will head to JW Marriott Parq Vancouver on Nov. 16 and then Edmonton Delta Hotels by Marriott Edmonton South on Nov. 18.  

Each regional conference aims to challenge TLN members to leverage the tools and training available to continually help grow their business. 

Around 190 member agents & 34 suppliers gathered in Toronto on Wednesday as part of TL Network's Fall Regional event series. (Supplied)

Events feature workshops and panels that cover the technology, marketing and selling tools available to members, frontline agency training and TL Network updates. 

READ MORE: TL Network's in-person fall events coming to Toronto, Edmonton & Vancouver. Register now!

Here, PAX checks in with TL Network Canada's Vice-President Christine James to learn more about the exciting and informative series, as well as the latest travel trends. 


PAX: After everything that has happened recently – Ottawa lifting the non-essential travel advisory, vaccine certificates launching, the U.S. re-opening, air routes being restored – what can you say about the travel industry’s recovery?

Christine James (CJ): Clearly the lifting of the non-essential travel advisory it welcomed news for the industry and is being reflected in the current uptick in booking trends. That said, the PCR testing requirement for Canadians returning home still presents a challenge both financially and in accessibility. I believe once the federal government downgrades the requirement to an antigen rapid test, we will see even better positive response to the pent-up demand to travel.

PAX: How does it feel to resume in-person events?

CJ: In a word – exhilarating! TLN has hosted over eight in-person events since the end of August including our EDGE Conference. And we were able to accomplish these successfully and safely!

TL Network Canada's Vice-President Christine James. (Supplied)

PAX: What kind of conversations are agents and suppliers having at these events?

CJ: Members and suppliers are both elated to re-engage with one another after such an extended period of virtual events and are getting updates about COVID protocols as they relate to their products and services as well as enhancements and what’s new information.

PAX: What’s your advice to advisors who are planning on attending one?

CJ: Follow the protocols laid down by both the venue and TLN. If we all respect these guidelines, we can all enjoy a safe and productive event!

PAX: What’s next for TL Network Canada? Has another round of in-person mixers been scheduled yet?

CJ: Our Western Canada Regionals are schedule for next week in Vancouver (Nov 16) and Edmonton (Nov 18) followed by six additional mixers across the country to year end.

G Adventures participates in TL Network Canada's regional event series in Toronto on Wednesday (Nov. 10). (Supplied)

PAX: What can advisors expect over the next six months in terms of special programming, new tools and opportunities?

CJ: We will continue with our successful monthly mixers across Canada and continue with enhancements and new features with Agent Profiler, but there’s more to come. So stay tuned.

PAX: What’s your advice to travel advisors as the winter 2021/2022 winter season begins?

CJ: Take advantage of travel's pent-up demand now. The current booking trends show that a large percentage of bookings are for travel within a two-month window. The advantage of a shorter booking window is that advisors start earning commissions sooner versus later. Therefore, if you’re not taking advantage of this last-minute booking trend, you’re losing out on a great opportunity to increase your cash flow, which is something we all need now.

Travel agencies interested in learning more about TL Network Canada are invited to visit TLNetwork.ca . Potential clients may visit CanadianTravelAgents.ca


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