This week, I joined the Travel Market Report team as the executive director, Canada. It’s a dream role for me to dedicate myself to doing everything I can to contribute to the success of the Canadian travel industry.
I discovered Travel Market Report in the fall of 2017. After working for over 30 years combined in a leadership role with Princess Cruises and with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, I had just made the leap to starting my own coaching practice. I was doing research on what the biggest challenges were facing travel entrepreneurs.
Every topic I researched — from marketing, to technology, to niches and specialty markets, to sales, social media, and even stress and burnout — seemed to link back to Travel Market Report. “How To Start an Agency,” “How to Grow Beyond 1 Million in Sales,” “How to Use a CRM,” “Is Social Media Important to Your Travel Business,” and “Why Use a Travel Advisor.” Not only was their content broad and comprehensive, the answers they provided were deeply grounded in authentic experiences from within the travel agency community. Peers helping peers stood out for me as the most valuable and credible resource of all.
I immediately subscribed to the Travel Market Report newsletter and began sharing their content with my clients. Some of them have since shared their own success stories as a way of giving back.
My second encounter with Travel Market Report was attending the first annual Travel MarketPlace show in Vancouver, British Columbia. They had been doing the Toronto show for five years and this was their first showcase in the West.
From the moment I walked into the registration area, I was taken back by how committed they were to the success of travel advisors. Every corner and every conversation seemed deeply steeped in, “How do we help you grow?” or “How do I become better at what I do?”
I met the publisher, Anne Marie Moebes, and asked her the history of the show and of Travel Market Report. “Our mission is to be the ‘Voice of the Travel Advisor,’” she said. It was founded by industry veteran Rick Mazza, president of the American Marketing Group and ASTA Hall of Fame inductee. He wanted a publication that would serve the needs of the agency community – not focus solely on the needs of the suppliers and advertisers.
“We took no advertising revenue for the first four years,” Anne Marie explained. You could tell by the glimmer in her eyes, the spirit of her team and their commitment to providing serious journalistic content, that they take their mission to heart. To this day, every contribution is measured by whether it helps the agency community.
There’s a saying, that your intuition seems to know where you’re going before your feet take you there. I had this feeling that, somehow, I would work with Travel Market Report. My mission is to share insights to help travel entrepreneurs grow. It seemed that our missions were just too closely aligned not to collaborate.
Fast-forward ten months and the opportunity to lead Travel Market Report in Canada arose. I leapt at the chance to add my experience to an already highly successful team. We have an exciting road ahead with many ideas on how we can help travel professionals, and I can’t wait to get started!
I hope to see all of you on February 20-21 at Travel Marketplace West in Vancouver.