The Travel Counsellors Star-studded Annual Conference was held in Manchester, UK this month, with a record guest-list of over 1600 including Adele Engelbrecht from Dubai who collected the award for Top Travel Counsellor, UAE.
During the three-day event, delegates were entertained by celebrities; inspired by motivational speakers; and networked with 220 suppliers including headline sponsors P&O Cruises and Cunard, Travelport, Royal Caribbean, Club Med and Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity host Vernon Kay returned for the third year running, and special guests included branding expert Alex Hunter, Green & Black’s co-founder Jo Fairley and Dame Kelly Holmes, who left delegates feeling energised and inspired to reach their goals for 2017. Attendees were entertained by the hilarious Jack Whitehall; wowed by an intimate performance from Ronan Keating; and met directly with valued travel partners.
The event was underpinned by the theme “myTC” celebrating Travel Counsellors commitment to innovations around the customer journey, nurturing personal relationships with customers, and developing talent. Steve Byrne, CEO, confirmed that personalisation and the end-to-end customer experience will continue to be key drivers in 2017, with significant investments in technology to enable Travel Counsellors to care even more in a digital world.
Byrne said: “We exist because we care. We have great people with special talents using smart technology to change lives for the better. Customers buy based on the experience they had rather than on price, and we are committed to making people feel special during every interaction. To the end, we’re investing AED100million in 2017 to continue to scale up the business globally and develop our digital offering, whilst still keeping a very human touch”.
During the weekend, delegates heard about the latest developments including the launch of a new rewards scheme for Travel Counsellors; an advanced personalised marketing system; and an updated, more user-friendly version of the in-house quote and booking system including a live chat feature.
Travel Counsellors were recognised with awards and prizes totally over AED650,000, including two Audi cars for those achieving top customer satisfaction scores – a well-deserved reward for contributing to the best sales year in the history of Travel Counsellors. Travel Counsellor Drew Palmer, beat his own personal best, picking up a massive four awards this year, including the Top Performing Travel Counsellor in the World.
Drew said: “My decision to become a Travel Counsellor just over a year ago is the best decision I have ever made. It has changed my life, and given me the freedom to grow a very successful travel business, and be the husband and father I want to be. Kirsten Hughes [UK MD] said that we are dream makers not order takers, and I completely agree – I’m there for my customer throughout the entire journey, not just at the booking stage, and that level of care is what makes Travel Counsellors different and secures a customer for life”.