Video by Princess Cruises
Montrose Travel’s ‘Homecoming’ Annual Educational Conference for their independent travel professionals concluded Monday.
Montrose said the event ranked among the most successful in the host agency’s history with a record number of agents and suppliers attending. Agents were welcomed to the host agency’s headquarters in Montrose, CA and continued on a three-night Pacific Coast cruise aboard the Golden Princess.
Andi Mysza, MTravel.com president, reported a 30 percent increase in overall host agency revenue year to date.
The core curriculum of the event was based largely on feedback from their independent travel professionals, Montrose said. Pre-conference attendees were offered CLIA sessions to qualify towards their Cruise Counselor Certification and a trade show with preferred suppliers.
Custom sessions were presented by Montrose Travel’s in-house management team focusing on search engine optimization, social media marketing, luxury travel and price matching procedures. Montrose Travel affiliate Sharon Ruggiero said: "I’ve learned more from this conference in the last two days than I have in three years of running my agency."
New technology was also introduced including Sabre Cruises, a dynamic B2B booking tool that enables agents to shop multiple cruise lines’ live inventory at once, as well as Montrose Travel’s web-based group reservation and cruise/tour management application which enables agents to market and sell groups on their website.
Further advances were revealed in the “Overview and New Developments’ session hosted by Andi Mysza, MTravel.com President, who highlighted a 30 percent increase in overall host agency revenue year to date in addition to other company growth trends.
Attendees and supplier partners were all invited to attend an on-theme ‘Homecoming’ party at Mysza’s home. “Having the conference in our hometown gave us the opportunity to introduce our extended family to our participants, many of whom they only know via phone and email,” said Mysza.
“They all want as much face time as possible alongside our training. Ample time at supplier roundtables, parties, networking opportunities and one-on-one dialogues are vital components to our agenda so all participants get the most out of the event and develop genuine relationships," Mysa said.
According to Montrose Travel affiliate Kathy Campbell of Camelview Travel, this approach is working well. “This conference] surpassed expectations – I will come again and recommend to others. If an agent is serious about his or her business, this conference is a must."
Established in 1956, family-owned Montrose Travel has hosted independent travel professionals for over 40 years and has over 500 independent contractors.