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Media : Travel Professionals International

Have Card Will Not Travel
01/18/2006 - Travel Professionals International


TPI has thrown its hat into the ring to help stop the flood of card mills from taking a financial hit at suppliers, and souring the name of travel agents in the process, and to help stop the abuse of the unassuming traveling consumer who senses a low cost way to travel who buys from an “agent” associated with a card mill. By aligning itself with industry-leading organizations, from CLIA and IATA to CITC and ACTA, TPI is committed to restricting the travel business to those who are truly travel professionals.

Says Chia, “TPI is supporting and encouraging any and all industry associations and suppliers to implement more stringent rules to protect themselves, the consumer, and legitimate companies like ourselves and many of our peers.”

TPI has a system and reviews each applicant who wants to join them. “If you want a card with TPI’s logo on it,” says Tim Morgan, Director of Marketing & Communications for TPI, “you’d better be prepared to step up to the mark and sweat!” Chia and his team at TPI work tirelessly to make sure their home-based network are responsible, accountable and highly trained. Every TPI associate is automatically on a path to gain their CTC and is further encouraged to earn their CTM.

Each TPI Associate has a sales quota to make and TPI brings in speakers, trainers, and suppliers live and in person, via webinars and tele-seminars, to help their associates generate the sales they need. Over the past three months, Steve Crowhurst, of SMP Training Co., presented a year-end planning session to make sure TPI associates hit the street running in 2006, as well as training on the expanding importance of database marketing, and ways to generate sales leads. Ongoing training by suppliers and consulted trainers, couple with educational efforts provided by TPI’s own Head Office staff, confirm that education gets top billing at TPI.

Recently TPI opened it’s system to long term travel agents who desire to leave the 9 to 5 grind and head home to do it their way with TPI support. Although TPI encourages every associate to get out and see the world as part of their ongoing education, anyone expecting to join TPI and then take off day one with a business card to see the world will not last long in the system. “The only place a TPI associate is traveling to day one” states TPI’s Director of Training, Emilyn Salvador, “is the TPI training room in Winnipeg and after a grueling 5-day program – traveling home to plan their business!”

Chia, Morgan, and Salvador are willing to give their time and expertise to trade associations fighting the card mill model and invite and encourage other firms to do the same.