Travel Counsellors USA held its second annual conference at Sandals Resort with awards given to top producing counsellors and for excellence in marketing. All attending counsellors and executives earned their Certified Sandals Specialist designation during the event. Travel Counsellors LLC is the U.S. affiliate of one the world’s largest home-based travel companies, with sales in 2009 estimated to be over $500 million and 1,000 agents worldwide.
Top producer awards were presented to Kate DeLosso of Chadds Ford, PA and Diane Hutchins of Bastrop, TX. Winning the award for Excellence in Marketing and Client Relations was Lyndonville, VT-based Jeanie Leonard.
“Even in this challenging economic climate, we are outpacing 2008 by more than 61 percent, so we certainly had something to celebrate,” said Darya Camacci, senior vice president of Travel Counsellors USA. “The focus of our meeting was education, team building, relationship building and sales skills. We brought in our sales director from the UK Malcolm Hingley and an outside behavioural analyst and motivational speaker Andrew O’Donoghue of Advance Performance.
O’Donoghue, a motivational speaker and long time trainer and facilitator for Travel Counsellors in the UK, observed that TC USA is on track to mirror its parent organization. “What stood out for me about Jamaica was that everyone was completely committed to the conference," he said. "I’ve known and worked with Travel Counsellors UK now for a number of years and with the U.S. business since the start of 2008. I am sure that the key differentiator for the U.S. business, which will ensure its success, will be that same as it is for the rest of the global business – and that is the absolute and total commitment of everyone to the customer.”
Camacci said Travel Counsellors USA is committing to an even more concerted effort to “support those who support us” and focus on preferred suppliers. One such preferred supplier is Sandals. All in attendance completed their Certified Sandals Specialist accreditation and some destination training on Jamaica, in order to better support the Sandals product and to better sell the destination of Jamaica overall.”
For Sandals, this was a chance to immerse an entire organization in the CSS program. “We were thrilled to host the TC group and truly impressed by their dedication. We know we will see increased sales and happy, qualified guests as a result of this event,” said David Roper, director of industry relations for Sandals. Roper was on site to train and get to personally know all of the US Travel Counsellors during their stay.
DeLosso, one of the first members of Travel Counsellors in the U.S., said it was the marketing support offered by TC that helped her surpass her sales goals and win this year’s top producer award. “It’s all about relationship marketing,” she said. “Travel Counsellors helps me keep in touch with E-shots to clients and direct mail campaigns reaching out to my clients. I am also given the support necessary to attend local events and meet potential customers face to face.”
Travel Counsellors Global Conference is being held in Manchester, UK in December. Visit www.travelcounsellors.com/join.