Travel Impressions Unveils in-pipeline Developments, Discusses 'TI Difference' at Best of the Best 2017
Conference & Awards Gala Held at New Secrets Cap Cana in Dominican Republic, Nov. 16 - 19
PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (November 20, 2017) — Travel Impressions' (www.TravelImpressions.com) Best of the Best 2017 conference and awards gala kicked off on Nov. 16 and provided attending travel agents with three jam-packed days of insightful presentations, business-enhancing educational opportunities and fun activities at the new Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Approximately 375 delegates turned up for the 22nd annual conference and utilized Travel Impressions' Best of the Best app for live updates on events via Apple iOS and Android devices.
Travel agent attendees were updated on new Travel Impressions programs such as Flex Groups; recent product expansion and diversification; enhancements to a variety of agent benefits; and other changes implemented since company president Scott Wiseman took the stage at last year's annual conference, like the expansion of Travel Impressions' revenue management team to ensure competitive pricing and amenities for travel agents.
The annual conference and awards gala continued to serve as a platform for the unveiling of new programs such as Travel Impressions TI360°—covering every degree of marketing—and other developments such as the upcoming launch of FIT tours to Colombia and the Connoisseur Collection by Karisma, a collaboration with the luxury resort operator building on the success of ALG Kids Concierge, a Karisma exclusive for brands under the Apple Leisure Group umbrella.
In his presentation on Nov. 17, Wiseman discussed the success of the LoyalTI First incentive and the powerful tools at agents' disposal including Monthly Makeovers and the #OnLocaTIon and the #WeekendLearning social media series, as well as Travel Impressions University and the broader EducaTIon First initiative.
On Travel Impressions University, Wiseman noted the program has awarded more than 1,200 graduate certifications since its launch earlier this year and detailed some of the benefits enjoyed by members of the elite TI Dean's List.
Wiseman also spoke about exclusive added values received by Best of the Best winners. "These incentivize your customers to book through your agencies since you may be the only professionals for miles around that can offer them. This in turn builds more loyalty and trust between your customers and your business, creating an unbreakable cycle of partnership," said Wiseman.
Attendees received a walk-through for the new Flex Groups program which makes the marketing and planning of group vacations an even more intrinsic focus. With the introduction of Flex Groups, Travel Impressions positions itself as a resource for agents booking smaller family reunions, corporate and incentive groups, anniversaries, bachelor and bachelorette parties, retirement and anniversary trips, and other milestone group occasions in addition to destination weddings.
"With all these different categories and the fact that families, companies, and friend groups come in all different sizes, supporting group travel meant getting even more creative," Wiseman said, noting Flex Groups is applicable to bookings of as few as five or more rooms.
"We negotiate just as hard for amenities and added values for these smaller bookings as we do the larger ones, and have added conveniences that were particularly culled for bookings like these," he added.
Wiseman also referenced a new partnership with Softrip Travel Solutions, a leading provider of technology solutions for group operators tasked with the improvement of Travel Impressions' front-end interface via automated touchpoints. "This eliminates the amount of manual labor and percentage chance of human error—a statistic we need to keep as low as possible when it comes to something as intricate as group bookings," he explained.
"We're not moving it all to an automated model," Wiseman clarified. "Our large groups staff continues to serve at your command, backing up our technology and your needs in full force, and more efficiently than ever before," he assured.
In addition to Wiseman's remarks, travel agents learned about other key developments designed to help them succeed from an impressive roster of General Session speakers including Rachel McGee, director of product development for ALG, who updated agents on the recent and upcoming launch of new destinations, including Iceland and Colombia, as well as new independent and escorted tours in Italy and Switzerland.
On Nov. 18, attendees were entertained, inspired and amazed by Best of the Best keynote speaker Vinh Giang, a magician, motivational speaker and CEO of Luminary Productions.
The conference culminates with the Best of the Best Gala Awards Dinner, followed by Travel Impressions' signature "surprise" private concert entertainment in the resort's Grand Ballroom on Saturday evening.