Agents and suppliers alike flocked to One Great George Street, London, on Monday (November 21) for the biggest Selling Travel Connect event of the year.
Hong Kong Tourism Board, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines, Okinawa, Expedia TAAP, Bonjour Québec, Quark Expeditions, Ajman, Dusit Hotels and Resorts, Amazing Thailand, Travelpack, JetBlue, Kissimmee and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation were all in attendance to inspire and update Agents with their latest offers.
The atmosphere was buzzing from the start as Agents enjoyed a drinks reception before speed-networking with suppliers. An exciting prize-draw at the end rounded off the evening, and all those in attendance left the event inspired and engaged.
Don’t take it from us…
One of many Agents who enjoyed the night was Brian Morris, Owner of Crescent Associates. “There’s a great selection of suppliers from airlines to hotels to destinations which have sparked inspiration for my discerning clients,” he said. “I was particularly interested to learn more about JetBlue’s extensive network to the US and on upselling Delta’s cabins.”
Sylvia Mason from Ultimate Global Meetings added: “The Caribbean is a big seller for me so it was great to speak to the CTO and learn about BA’s new direct flight from London to Aruba from March next year.”
Success for suppliers
Suppliers spoke highly of the evening, too. Laura Sayce, Bonjour Québec, said: “It’s so good to be engaging with so many agents and spreading the word about Québec. We are excited to have our direct flight from London to Québec City returning next year from May to October. We are also organising FAM trips to coincide with Rendezvous Canada which will be held in Québec City next year.”
Agents were invited to network with each of the 14 suppliers in quick 10-minute ‘speed dating’ sessions.
Dawn Page, Director, UK and Northern Europe, Hong Kong Tourism Board, said: “As Hong Kong’s travel restrictions ease further, we plan to bring tour operators and Hong Kong Specialist Club members back to Hong Kong to experience the city. We want to reconnect with the industry and showcase the new developments across Hong Kong, such as the West Kowloon Cultural District, which is home to M+ and Hong Kong Palace Museum, as well as the new Peak Tram, which underwent renovations last year.”
Chris Lee, Head of Marketing, Tourism Authority of Thailand, said: “We are seeing visitors spending more money, staying longer and seeking out multi-centre holidays. More complex bookings means it’s so important that we educate the trade on everything Thailand has to offer. We also have a Roadshow in May in Manchester and Glasgow and will be running four FAM trips next year.”
Sue Bailey, Director of Sales, Dusit Hotels, said: “Thailand is a big focus for us and we are excited to reopen the Dusit Thani hotel in 2024 which has undergone a major refurbishment. It is aimed at millennial travellers and will offer experiential travel opportunities.”
In case you missed it…read more from the suppliers at sellingtravel.co.uk/welcome-to-selling-travel-connect/
In it to win it
At the end of the night, a prize draw meant that a handful of lucky agents walked away with more than just inspiration! Top prizes went to Joe Rivelli from BCD Travel Ltd who won flight tickets from Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, Sanyula Kabisa from Travel Counsellors won a spot on a fam trip to Ajman early next year, and Otto Gumaelius of Jon Baines Tours Ltd who won five nights across two Dusit hotels in Thailand. On top of this many other Agents walked away with £100 Amazon vouchers, NFL tickets, rum, whisky, gift hampers, goodie bags and chocolates – prizes too good to miss!
Sign up for our next Connect event with Mauritius
Selling Travel Connect will be returning to London on December 8 for a Mauritius takeover. Network with the likes of Air Mauritius, Attitude Hotels, Beachcomber, LUX* Resorts, Marriott, Sunlife, Veranda and Heritage and more. Join us for another fun evening of networking, refreshments and a prize draw.