This article was updated on Monday, May 2 at 2:03 p.m. EST
It’s not often that Zeina Gedeon is at a loss for words.
But after asking the usually-outspoken CEO of Travel Professionals International (TPI) how she felt about hosting a live conference again, she was almost speechless.
“I have no words to express,” a thrilled and overwhelmed Gedeon told PAX last night (May 1) on a bulb-lit beach at TPI’s welcome cocktail and dinner in Cancun, Mexico, where the host agency is hosting its first in-person national conference since 2019.
“We cried, honestly. There’s been so much headache and heartache over the past two years and it’s so fantastic to see everybody in person.”
TPI’s 2022 conference, “Unlock Your Future,” is happening from May 1-6 at Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres, a luxurious new property in a laid-back, up-and-coming area in northern Cancun.
Welcoming some 170 travel advisors and 35 suppliers, the week-long event was built to help TPI’s network “unlock” their potential as the travel industry, supported by rising consumer confidence and eased border restrictions, emerges from the ashes of the pandemic and looks ahead to the future.
“We designed our sessions to really help people get back into business,” Gedeon told PAX, which is covering TPI’s event on location. “It’s going to help them unlock all the potential that is out there for them.”
The week will feature workshops with titles such as “Know Your Value” and “Unlock Your Partnership Opportunities.”
There will also be a Virtuoso-led masterclass on selling luxury, panel discussions, such as “Pain That Unlocked Your Gain,” supplier presentations, a trade show and, of course, breakout sessions that will give agents important face time with reps from leading industry brands.
The conference also happens to land on Travel Agent Day (Wednesday, May 4), and special festivities have been planned.
Welcoming new faces
Of all the TPI advisors in attendance this week, about 40 per cent of them are new to the industry, Gedeon said.
TPI, over the last two years during the pandemic, conducted daily calls with its network – sometimes phoning up advisors twice in one day.
“All of the new people know us by face, but they have never met us [until now],” Gedeon said.
TPI announces rebrand
The conference kicked off Monday morning with big news as Gedeon announced that TPI would undergo a corporate name change and rebrand as Trevello Travel Group.
“TPI Travel" is not disappearing, Gedeon confirmed, reminding agents that the new name will not impact their own branding.
“We’re creating a ‘mother company,’” Gedeon said, saying that the shift is part of a long-term plan to expand into the United States.
“After what we went through over the last year, we had to evolve,” she said. “We needed to make this change in order to reflect the new company we are and what you represent.”
“It’s time to evolve as a company and for us to build on the amazing fundamentals of our support team and advisors.”
Stay tuned as PAX brings you more on-location coverage from TPI’s 2022 conference, “Unlock Your Future” at Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres!
Visit PAXnews.com's Facebook page to see pics from last night's welcome party on the beach!