RETAIL ROUND-UP: TRAVELSAVERS, Trevello, TDC, Flight Centre, and Direct Travel
TRAVELSAVERS members enjoyed an elite retreat, while in other round-up news, Trevello was cruising to success, Flight Centre embraced AI, while TDC said ‘bravo’ to 25 top agencies, and Direct Travel hosted its first-ever leisure conference.
Fifty top TRAVELSAVERS’ 50 advisors were whisked away recently on an Elite Retreat with Avalon Waterways, cruising the Danube from Budapest to Vienna. The trip gave participants a chance to check out a trending destination and a popular travel style (river cruising) that is showing increasing sales.
Highlights of the trip included visiting celebrated Christmas markets, decorating their own creations at a glass factory, learning creative techniques in a painting workshop, and a Champagne reception and an exclusive evening tour of the magnificent Baroque Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
“The TRAVELSAVERS Elite Retreat is our chance to celebrate our outstanding advisors and their sales achievements,” said Jane Clementino, Sr. VP. and GM of TRAVELSAVERS Canada. “During the event, consultants gain firsthand knowledge of these destinations and travel styles, helping them continue to deliver next-level travel experiences for their clients. Our top advisors are dedicated to providing the same distinctive experiences they enjoyed on this reward trip.”
Trevello Travel Group has introduced a new platform for advisors, Cruise Central, culminating a successful year of cruise sales, along with initiatives such as regular cruise chats, targeted marketing efforts, and specialized cruise training.
Caroline Hay, General Manager of Cruise at Trevello, says, “The roll-out of Cruise Central is a milestone event for us. It’s more than just a booking tool – it symbolizes our deep commitment to our advisors and our ambition to expand our cruise segment. This platform is customized to refine booking processes, boost cruise sales, and arm our advisors with the necessary resources to excel.”
Hay touts the platform’s user-friendly design and cutting-edge features, which integrates the offerings of over 35 cruise lines into one seamless interface. There are features for both B2B and B2C needs, customizable branding for advisors, and comprehensive management tools for team leaders, including unique functions like secondary phone fields. It’s also equipped to handle bookings for Consortia, Headquarters, and Advisor groups.
“The platform’s versatility and tailor-made options are exactly what our advisors need,” adds Hay, who notes the new tech has arrived just in time for Wave Season.
Transat Distribution Canada (TDC) has recognized 25 Marlin Travel, Affiliate, Club Voyages and Voyages en Liberté agencies with a spot on its Bravo Club Excellence list. The agencies, which have distinguished themselves by their outstanding sales performance during the 2022-23 fiscal year, will see a few of their owners take part in a celebratory cruise aboard the Seabourn Encore in the Eastern Mediterranean in June.
“Looking closely at this group of 25 deserving agencies, it’s impressive to see that the vast majority of owners are long-standing members of the TDC network, with 10, 20, 25 years, even up to 30 and 35 years of loyalty. Year after year, many of these owners find themselves in this select group,” says Karine Gagnon, General Manager of TDC. “What’s even more gratifying,” she adds, “is that new members who have joined us in the last two or three years have also earned their place in this prestigious group, testifying to the dynamism and constant renewal of our network.”
The ‘AI Center of Excellence’ has been launched as a new global division of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), focussing on promoting, adopting, and integrating artificial intelligence technologies into the company’s corporate divisions.
The company says the Centre will strategically harness the power of AI to revolutionize FCTG’s flagship business travel divisions, Corporate Traveller and FCM, by enriching customer experiences, boosting employee productivity and more.
As part of the launch, Adrian Lopez will step into a newly created role as Head of AI for Corporate, where he will lead a dedicated team of technical experts responsible for laying out the shared corporate vision for AI within the organization. He most recently served as Global Chief Technology Officer for FCM Digital.
“In today’s ever-changing digital world, we recognize the tremendous potential with AI and ways it can transform our work,” said John Morhous, Global Chief Experience Officer of FCTG’s Corporate Brands, adding that FCTG will aim to strengthen the relationship between the human workforce and hands-on AI applications.
Direct Travel advisors, management and the majority of its strategic suppliers convened in November at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile to network, learn and foster relationships. This was the first North American leisure conference for Direct Travel and the event saw over 300 attendees, with fully half from Canada.
“This has been a huge success and a real win for both our team and our suppliers,” said Stephen Smith, Sr. VP, Leisure Strategy & Marketing, adding that top partners present included Oceania, Silversea, and Allianz. “Human connection is a big part of our business, and it was great to get everyone in one place, with over 3,500 face-to-face meetings facilitated over the span of two days.” There were also professional development sessions focused on simplification, efficiency, and growth as travel advisors.
At the Awards Gala on Wednesday night, Direct Travel launched its expanded GEM recognition program which distinguishes top leisure producers. “Of the nearly 1,000 Direct advisors across North America, 130 were awarded GEM status for 2022-23 – an impressive achievement,” said Gerard Bellino, EVP Leisure at Direct Travel.
The conference wrapped with a Give Back event at Project C.U.R.E to help fill a shipping container with supplies for a medical facility in Africa. “We were so delighted to partner with A&K Philanthropy to facilitate this opportunity to help those in need. Project C.U.R.E. does some incredible work and it was so great to see everyone contributing and working together,” said Rene Schneeberger, SVP, Supplier Relations at Direct Travel, who also sits on the DEI committee.
First published at Travel Industry Today