TravelBrands Welcomes 700 Agents At Toronto Appreciation Event
with Bruce Parkinson
TravelBrands paid tribute to the Humboldt Broncos at its Agent Appreciation Event in Toronto.
Agents were invited to share their condolences after the untimely passing of Royal Caribbean’s Mary Ogaki.
Travel agents wear many hats at the Travelbrands Agent Appreciation night.
Open Jaw’s Nina Slawek interviews TravelBrands CEO Frank DeMarinis.
Rod Hanna, Trade Sales Manager for the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority with Charlie (Carla) Agostino, Business Development Manager, Canlink Travel.
Representatives of The Bahamas were out in full force: from left: Kashmie Ali, Abaco Beach Resort; Paul Strachan, Sr. Director Canada, Bahamas Tourist Office; Yasmin Johnson, Marketing Representative, Bahamas Tourist Office; and Steven Johnson, Sr. Manager, Business Development, Bahamas Tourist Office.
Everybody likes to be appreciated.
The 700 travel professionals who attended the TravelBrands Agent Appreciation Night in Woodbridge, north of Toronto, certainly do.
On a day when many in attendance were reeling from the untimely passing of friend and colleague Mary Ogaki and still absorbing the loss of so many young Canadians in the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, it was healing to be among friends and to celebrate an industry where relationships still trump rivalries.
TravelBrands CEO Frank DeMarinis asked for a moment of silence to commemorate those sad events, and then turned to happier news – reporting the progress of a company that has come out the other side from difficult times. And he knew exactly who to thank.
“We enjoyed tremendous growth in 2017,” Demarinis said. “And that is 100% because of you, the travel professional.”
The agents in attendance were also expressing their appreciation for TravelBrands, which has united its 10 different product lines under one platform, making booking easier and enabling travel advisors to quickly and easily share travel planning ideas with their clients.
With that major goal accomplished, TravelBrands has tweaked its own branding, identifying its massive breadth of product by category, including TravelBrands Flights, by Intair, Travelbrands Cruises, by Encore, Travelbrands Packages, by Sunquest and so on.
“We’re the only operator that delivers 10 different product lines. We see that as a lifeline to your success for the future. And now we’ve given you the technology so you can work smarter, not harder,” DeMarinis said.
The TravelBrands CEO also thanked the many suppliers – tourist boards, hoteliers, airlines, car rental companies and more – who came out to meet with agents, including major event sponsors WestJet and Bahia Principe.
DeMarinis says he hears from many agents expressing fears about their future in a fast-changing environment. Providing a wide range of options to clients is the cure for those fears, he says.
“We mean business. We want to do business with you. We believe in your future and we’ve got your back.
(l to r) Jill Dickie, Business Analyst, Travelsavers; Kelly Schmitt, Spoiled Agent; and Liz Grundon, Sr. Director, Business Development, Travelsavers.
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.