MLT Vacations Sets Attendance Records at MLT University Agent Event
By David Cogswell
September 24, 2012 10:09 PM
MLT Vacations set attendance records for its 19th annual MLT University travel agent education event, Sept. 22 to 24, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis. The 3,000-agent attendance numbers surpassed the previous record of 2,500 agents set last year. The numbers would have been higher if registration had not been closed when attendance numbers went beyond the available capacity. “If you were in the ballroom this morning, you could see you couldn’t fit another doughnut in that ballroom,” said Terry Williams, MLT’s vice president of sales.
The agents came from coast to coast to attend a trade show and a selection of seminars on destinations, hotels and markets and presentations by MLT executives. Many of the agents also wanted to meet the company’s new president, John Caldwell, and get a feel for the future direction of the company, which is going through profound changes, including a move of its corporate headquarters to Atlanta, which will take place during the period from November through the first quarter of 2013.
The high attendance also reflects the fact that MLT is having the best year in its history. In May, the company introduced yet another airline brand, Aeromexico Vacations, to its pantheon of airline brands, which includes United Vacations (which absorbed Continental Airlines Vacations), Delta Vacations (which absorbed Northwest Airlines WorldVacations), Alitalia Vacations and Air France Holidays.
The company continues its steep upward trajectory, having expanded its destinations by 50 percent in the past five years as it has taken on several new airline brands and integrated them. This year, it has added product in New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, China, Thailand and Costa Rica. The company now offers 3,500 properties worldwide.
“The year 2013 is going to be a great year,” Caldwell said. “MLT is stronger than ever. We’ll be focusing even more on our agency partners. I’m going to be forming an advisory board to find out exactly what they need. We’ll have some new incentive programs. We’re going to survey our customers at least once a year. We’re going to be focused on formally getting feedback from agents and customers so we can better determine what we need to do. Things are changing very quickly and we want to have a formal feedback loop to give us guidance.”