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Avoya prepares for the resumption of travel


Avoya Travel makes Part Two of its Virtual Conference free for independent agencies and offers even more content.

FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Avoya Travel, one of the travel industry’s most innovative brands, is set to kick off Part Two of its annual Avoya Conference, which takes place December 1-4, 2020, with a newly added pre-conference event on November 30. Understanding the financial difficulties travel agencies are experiencing due to the global pandemic and the importance of being prepared for the resumption of leisure travel in a post-COVID-19 world, Avoya decided to offer attendance to Part Two of the conference to Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network free of charge.

After the recent success of Part One of Avoya’s first-ever virtual conference in October, which focused on celebrating Avoya and the Avoya Travel Network’s continued position of strength in the travel industry and the many technological enhancements Avoya recently rolled out, Part Two will highlight the new health and safety practices of Avoya’s supplier partners, updates on products and protocols, and the “new normal” of traveling post-pandemic. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback on Part One, Avoya added an additional day of content to Part Two in a pre-conference event that will feature in-depth workshops, an Independent Agency panel, an encore appearance by Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor, and additional Avoya-centric content designed to help Independent Agencies be as ready as possible when travel returns in earnest.

Supplier partners praised Avoya for pivoting its annual Avoya Conference to a virtual format to continue offering optional educational and networking opportunities to Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network, while protecting the health of everyone. “Education and preparation are so important for travel advisors right now as we get ready for the return of travel in 2021 and beyond. I’m very impressed with the way Avoya has continued to provide educational opportunities for the Avoya Network during these difficult times by utilizing virtual platforms,” said Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support and Service at Royal Caribbean International. “We’re glad that Avoya has embraced the changing times and continues to see such great success by pivoting to virtual formats for their events. Royal Caribbean is excited to be participating in Part Two of Avoya’s virtual conference and we’re looking forward to an extremely successful event.”

In addition to Freed, Part Two of the conference will feature presentations from leading industry executives including Dondra Ritzenthaler, Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support and Service at Celebrity Cruises; Nikki Upshaw, Senior Vice President, Sales at Oceania Cruises; Adolfo Perez, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Trade Marketing at Carnival Cruise Line; and many more. Much of the executives’ content will focus on the future of the travel industry, how cruise lines are responding to the new CDC guidelines in the Conditional Sailing Order, and the light at the end of the tunnel for a return to travel.

In addition to the supplier presentations, the conference will feature robust networking opportunities including Independent Agency “speed-dating” with supplier partners, supplier “office hours” where Independent Agencies can have personal interactions with Avoya’s partners in one-on-one and small group settings, as well as the ability to schedule individual meetings with suppliers and other Independent Agencies. To ensure the event is not only educational but also entertaining, Avoya has added some themed nights to the virtual event including a Jingle and Mingle Ugly Sweater Party, a Trivia Night, and a New Year’s Farewell Party.

The Avoya Conference: Part Two is an important opportunity for Avoya to help the Avoya Network get prepared for the resumption of leisure travel and set their businesses up for continued success in 2021 and beyond. “As we near the return of travel, it’s crucial for Independent Agencies to have access to as much education as possible regarding the new changes to health and safety protocols and the evolution of Avoya’s supplier partners, as well as the ability to build collaborative relationships within the Avoya Network and with Avoya’s supplier partners and staff,” said Tammie Richie, Vice President of Network Engagement at Avoya Travel. “Knowing that travel agencies are among the hardest hit businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic and education and professional development are more important than ever, we made the decision to offer access to Part Two of our annual conference at no cost; we recently made the same decision for our extremely successful Avoya Mastermind Virtual Success Academy.”

Avoya’s first-ever Avoya Mastermind Virtual Success Academy took place November 16-20, 2020 and featured various optional professional development and educational content, networking opportunities, and intensive workshops aimed at helping Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network grow their businesses and continue to increase their expertise and customer service. Normally hosted in-person throughout the year on various cruises and resort properties, the popular event encouraged attendees to “re-imagine” aspects of their business such as marketing, business systems, and technology, among other optional suggested best practices presented by the Avoya Mastermind team and special guests. Due to the rousing success of the virtual event and the current environment, Avoya expects to host many more virtual Avoya Mastermind Academies in the future.

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