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Inaugural future leaders in Travel Retreat fills travel industry gap

The launch event brought together 66 travel industry professionals on both the supplier and the advisor sides between the ages of 22 and 37.

SECAUCUS, NJ – TravelAge West, owned by Northstar Travel Group, launched the first-ever Future Leaders in Travel Retreat (The Retreat) in Aspen, Colo., Sept. 4-6, 2018, at the Aspen Meadows Resort, home of The Aspen Institute. The Retreat is dedicated to connecting the next generation of travel buyers and sellers in order to move the industry forward.

"The travel industry lacked a space for young professionals to connect, develop their leadership skills, and discuss the future of our industry," said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group. "TravelAge West and Northstar Travel Group saw that hole and developed The Retreat."

"When I first heard about The Retreat, I got really excited because it was something that's missing in the market. I knew I needed to apply immediately," said Scott Largay of Largay Travel, Inc.

The launch event brought together 66 travel industry professionals on both the supplier and the advisor sides between the ages of 22 and 37. The 41 fully hosted travel advisors in attendance were selected through an application process requiring advisors to demonstrate their personal brand, share thoughts on the current state of the industry, and provide professional references.

"My expectations have been completely blown away," continued Largay. "The Retreat is unlike any other event that I've ever been to. What TravelAge West has done here is put together an agenda where you have different opportunities to have authentic conversations."

Over three days, attendees connected through unique, collaborative content sessions; outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and yoga; and social events full of local flare. Education focused on professional development topics specific to future leaders, and provided insights on how this generation will influence the future of the travel industry.

"All of the aspects of The Retreat were not only informative, but they were designed in a way that helped us bond," said Maja Gudelj of Olive Tree Escapes. "We've all taken this opportunity to learn from one another and encourage one another. That doesn't always happen at other conferences."

Supplier participants represented diverse segments of the industry, including airlines, hoteliers, destinations, ocean and river cruise lines and tour operators. What they shared is a desire to better understand how millennial travel advisors work.

"What I've gotten out of this conference is a better understanding of how this generation of travel advisors ticks," said Kyle Hassell of Delta Air Lines. "Through the connections I've made, I learned what our advisor partners need, what they want, and what they expect from a supplier. And now I can take all that back to our team so we can develop products, services, and tools for the next generation of the industry."

The Retreat returns to Aspen Meadows Sept. 3-5, 2019.

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Angelos is the news editor for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). His role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy.

He currently studies Communication, Media & Culture in Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens.

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