What Travel Planners International Is All About
In the 28 years since it first started in business, Travel Planners International (TPI) has evolved from a tour company for inbound travelers to Orlando to the 3,000-plus member host agency it is today.
Catering to both new and experienced travel professionals, the agency offers members profit-generating marketing programs, consumer connect options, negotiation power, small-business training events and time-saving back-office support.
Beyond offering travel professionals expert advice and business support on all fronts, TPI works to promote their group of highly specialized travel agents and preferred industry suppliers directly to consumers through their consumer-facing website, social media outlets, direct marketing and a variety of initiatives with similarly minded industry associations and consortia.
TPI has three main programs geared to:
• Industry newbies: Those new to the industry will benefit from TPI's Express Training course which gives a solid overview of the many facets of the travel industry; Enhanced Training provides the comprehensive training aspiring agents will need to be successful, including how to book accommodations and market their own agencies. Like all other agents, new entrants are provided with a free website and online directory, as well as training, marketing and customer service and assistance.
• Experienced agents: For those with industry experience, TPI offers multiple business initiatives to help grow their clientele, including a dedicated business development team, cutting-edge technologies such as intuitive invoicing tools, an agent vacation assistance program and a point-and-click Air/Car/Hotel booking engine; proven marketing tools (both direct mail and email) and social media management tools; exclusive trade show access and meet-ups with area TPI agents; training opportunities; and exceptional customer service.
• Sellers of corporate and air travel: These agents are provided with full access to all four GDS systems (with no fees!) and GDS agents never have capped commissions. Through TPI agents can access a simplified process to transfer their customer profiles. What won't corporate and air-booking agents find? Accreditation requirements, ARC bonds, long-term GDS contracts, or per-invoice or transaction fees.
TPI allows its member agents to run all their business through them, or if they prefer, just air or tour. Equally important to independent contractors is the fact that they don't mandate which suppliers their member agents use, nor do they have minimum sales requirements. And best of all, TPI conducts all the reporting for an agency, leaving travel consultants free to sell travel rather than run weekly ARC reports or IAR reconciliation.
Beyond assisting travel professionals with the day-to-day running of their agencies, TPI offers its members a wide range of educational offerings, including destination specialist courses, tutorials, user guides and marketing how-to’s. Beyond the continuing education courses on TPICentral, the company conducts weekly webinars (offered live and later on demand) on such topics as New Member Orientation, Technology Training, Vacation & Tour Sales Training, Advanced Cruises Sales Training and Email Training. TPI's ongoing professional development programs include Seminars-at-Sea, group FAM trips and conventions.
Sharon Campbell Little, Wedding and Honeymoon Travel Group, notes that since switching to TPI “My business has thrived and continues to daily ever since joining the TPI family. With the great commission levels I earn, along with innovative education, networking opportunities, and all-inclusive support, I cannot imagine running my business so successfully without being a part of this unstoppable team!”
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