Signature waives dues // © 2010 Photos.com
At its annual Owners’ Meeting held earlier this month at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, Calif., Signature Travel Network announced that it would waive membership dues for 2011 and add new marketing credits for all of its members. The decision to waive the dues, according to Signature’s board of directors, was motivated by a desire to encourage travel agent members to allocate their financial resources toward marketing initiatives in 2011.
“As a member owned co-operative, Signature continues to place the health of their members’ business first,” said Michelle Morgan, Signature Travel Network president. “That is what makes Signature unique — our members are our shareholders. In 2010, Signature eliminated all print costs for marketing collateral to assist agencies in the continuation of actively engaging with clients. This year, we really felt it was necessary to keep some cash in our members’ pockets to allow them to invest even more in marketing in 2011. We believe this will fuel sales for members as well as supplier partners.”
More than 320 Signature members and agency owners attended this year’s Owners’ Meeting. Feedback from Signature members showed that members with solid corporate business saw a strong recovery this year, while agencies specializing in incentives and group sales saw year-over-year gains compared to the same time last year. On a consolidated basis, Signature reported double-digit gains in all sectors of business, with the strongest signs of growth in the luxury market. Members also reported that advance bookings for 2011 are ahead of pace compared to the same period last year. Within the last 18 months, the travel agent consortium has added 38 new members representing 58 locations for a total of 350 locations in 38 states with 190 agency owners.