I found myself in a flurry of activity and an energized environment as I arrived at the portal for the MLT University’s Annual Travel Agent Symposium, held Sept. 22-24th. For 19 years, MLT University has been bringing travel agents from the U.S. and Canada to hear what’s new in vacation travel from those in the know – over 200 representatives from the various islands of the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Australia, Mexico and Central America, and the U.S.A. A major feature of this symposium is the Destination and Partner Classes that were offered to the travel agents. As an attendee I was armed with fascinating insider “tid-bits”, hot travel trends and recommendations that AurTravel can pass on to you – our valued client!
MLT is one of the largest providers of vacation packages in the U.S. and has been in business for more than 40 years. MLT Vacations manages multiple vacation brands including Delta Vacations in partnership with Alitalia and Air France, United Vacations, Aero Mexico Vacations, and Worry-Free Vacations. But what does this mean to the consumer? With more than 3,000 destination partners the benefits to the consumer are many:
- Wide range of resort, air, transportation, and flight options.
- Added sightseeing features that can be included in your package.
- Honeymoon packages including special amenities – spa discounts, champagne on arrival, breakfast in bed & more!
- Flexible deposit payment – allowing you to put down a deposit only and pay the rest later.
- Group Getaway – travel to your favorite vacation spot and have your family and friends meet you there. Everyone traveling saves with special discounts.
Travel trends seem to be all about “sight-doing”, not sight-seeing. I’m finding that more and more customers want to live in the moment, experience and savor all the tastes, sights and sounds of their travel experience. Multi-generational families are all traveling together, and travelers are taking their mobile devices along to make sure everyone is included in the travel experience. What an exciting time it is to travel and be able to share experiences!
The presentation classes were well organized. The classes were conducted by employees of World Vacations who had taken personal trips to the destinations and shared their experiences. Each year brings repeat and new classes. This year I wanted to attend classes about where I found the travel trending, or the ever popular destinations. I added Costa Rica, Belize & Roatan, Panama, Guatemala, and Avalon River Cruises to my class roster and found them ultra-informative. I also updated my specialist areas with the Scotland and England presentations.
On a personal note, I was eager to meet with certain suppliers and people I knew in the travel industry to say hi and stop by their booths. Working with various groups, it was a “boon” to pick-up the wealth of travel literature about their destinations displayed at the booths.
Setting the stage to the events each morning was Terry Williams, the new Vice President of Sales for MLT Vacations. Terry is responsible for sales for all the MLT Vacations brands and the sales team. I was eager to find Terry as she has been an acquaintance of mine, having both been in the travel industry for many years. I was able to meet up with her and John Caldwell, the President before leaving.
I was rejuvenated and eager to come back to the office with the new information and to support the relationships with our travel vendors, many who only work through travel agencies as a portal to you – our customer. Because we work with reputable vendors and properties, we also have the inside track to what is not found on the Internet. The travel agents of AurTravel want to make sure our travelers are well taken care of – saving you time by doing the research for you and only recommending options that best match what is important to you.
It was a successful weekend and opportunity for me. Call AurTravel today so we can make your vacation a reality!
Bringing over 25 years of experience in the travel industry, Myla Jones has become a valuable asset since starting at AurTravel in 2011. Her areas of specialty include Celebrity Cruises, Universal Theme Parks, Globus/Cosmos Motorcoach tours, and Rail Europe. Myla is also a travel specialist for Ireland, England, Scotland, and the Caribbean.