Here’s How We Can Make It Easy for People to Join Our Industry

February 6, 2020

The travel industry is on the upswing. Not only are more people taking vacations and using travel advisors (thank you Millennials), but even more are taking their leap of faith. It’s an exciting time to be working in our industry! But, let’s talk about what it’s going to take to keep building our industry. Step away from the numbers and stats - it’s time we focus on inclusion, communication, and community.

Building the industry isn’t just about adding travel advisors, increasing sales or enticing new consumers to travel. While these are all important, the focus on crafting a strong fabric, one where we weave our stories together to create a beautiful foundation. Understanding each travel advisors business model, goals and their perspective, no matter if they’ve been doing this for 14 months or 14 years. Our industry propels forward when we invite a diverse cross-section of professionals to join the movement!

Emphasizing Community is crucial to the industry. Cultivating a reputation for having a strong-knit community not only further entices people to launch their own agency, but also helps the current advisor community. Independent travel advisors working from home and sharing co-op spaces are dominating the scene right now. Being a solo entrepreneur can be very lonely, so belonging to a community is key to fulfillment and success. At Travel Planners International, we believe the collective brainpower and experienced knowledge of our community of Rockstar advisors is one of our most valuable assets.

This brings me to Communication. Community can only happen if we make a conscious choice to become effective communicators. Remember that we’re all in this together. Communication is key in a growing industry where experience levels vary. I am often reminded of Steven Covey’s 5th Principle, “First seek to understand, then be understood.”

Some great communication skills you should adopt are:

  1. Active listening
  2. Speaking clearly and directly
  3. Showing empathy and respect
  4. Understanding the other’s perspective

Now, to my last point - Inclusion. Being a travel advisor is not one size fits all. There are so many different types of niches and/or business models one can follow. No two clients are the same, so why would we expect that out of from our travel advisors and agency owners? Plus, it’s great for the industry to have a diversified workforce. If you’ve got an idea that caters to cat lovers that knit or Leo mommy bloggers, chase after it fully!

For those wondering, we practice what we preach at TPI. When you join us, we don’t pit you against other travel advisors (although trust me, they are superbly competitive!). Our community of 4,200+ advisors and agency owners become instant family, not competition. You’re adopted into a group of passionate, proud, and hard-charging small business owners who love what they do. Together, we cheer each other on and offer support during tough times.

At TPI HQ, we’re treated like a part of The Gagliano family (our founders) and like with any family, we sometimes have challenges with Communication. To help with this, we’ve adopted the Four Agreements as a company-wide staple for communication and understanding. As we interact with one another or with our advisor family, we keep the agreements in mind. If you’re not familiar with the Four Agreements, I’ve included them below:

  1. Be impeccable with your words
  2. Don’t Assume
  3. Don’t take things personally
  4. Do Your Best

You can also read more about it here. This, in conjunction with Integrity (a TPI core value), is the benchmark to which we make all decisions. It’s one of the keys to our success.

All of this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t worry about our sales or numbers - we do have a bottom line. The stronger the bottom line, the more we can serve our partners. However, we are in an industry that promotes acceptance, open mindedness, tolerance and kindness. We celebrate together, struggle through challenges together, and better the industry, together. Let’s make 2020 the best year our industry has ever seen!