WHY IT RATES: Over 200 MAST travel advisors, independent contractors, agency owners and more attended the first in-person event for the consortium in two years. - Lacey Pfalz, Associate Writer, TravelPulse
While MAST has held numerous in-person events the past two years, the last year the Annual MAST Conference was held was in 2019.
The conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida, April 27 - May 1.
Over 225 MAST travel advisors, independent contractors, agency owners, travel suppliers, speakers and guests attended the four-day program.
Highlights included an Executive Panel, moderated by Eric Bowman, Executive Editor of Travel Pulse joined by Amelie Brouhard, Vice President of Marketing, North America for Club Med; Jared Cox, Director, American Airlines Vacations; Tricia Wolf, Vice President, Field Sales, Oceania Cruises; and Galen Mathews, Director of Sales for Royal Caribbean International. The panel discussed travel's comeback and how their companies have kept up with a constantly changing environment and how they have supported the travel advisor community to ensure the successful return to business. The panel also discussed what's selling and the demographics of today's traveler and who is traveling.
The featured speaker during one of the General Sessions was Camille Olivere, Chief Sales Officer for Globus family of brands. Camille spoke on five outcomes of the pandemic and the implications for travel advisors. Among them, know your value and communicate it. Keep thing simple in the midst of ongoing complexity and confusion. Know your guests, evolve digitally, and the advancement of medicine and acceleration of globalization.
MAST's group of under 40 professionals known held a JV Hangout and Ice Breaker. Sunrise Yoga with Mimosas was held early one morning. And an ASTAPAC fundraiser was held taking in $3000.00 committing MAST President John Werner, to have his hair dyed blue on stage if the group surpassed its fundraising goal.
MAST agencies made over 1200 private business appointments with the 68 travel suppliers present. During free time on Saturday afternoon, attendees, took a guide bike tour on Sanibel Island, toured the Henry Ford-Thomas Edison Winter Estates in Ft. Myers, took a shelling cruise in Estero Bay, and relaxed at the Hyatt Regency beach on Big Hickory Island.
John Werner said in his remarks at the closing General Session, the value proposition for MAST and its members is two-fold. "Travel advisors are the authority on all things travel. As customers have become more demanding, travel advisors are in a stronger position than ever to tell them what you will do for them, and how you will work together. Get their agreement to work with you in this manner before proceeding to help them. Secondly, MAST is a community that stands strong working together. Agencies want to associate with other travel advisors willing to share their knowledge and experience. We are a network that truly cares about one another. Our mutual success is tied to a collective objective that believes, I will be successful if you are successful.".
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