Every day at The magazine, we are bombarded by press releases from across the travel industry. Most of these items are mundane, but the ones that are truly unique — announcing a clever new program — are often shared around the office. One company that we see over and over again when it comes to releases such as these is Kimpton hotels.
In just the past few months, we’ve seen: “Kimpton Launches ‘Retail Therapist’ Services,” “Kimpton Launches ‘Queen for the Day’ LGBT promo” and “Kimpton Offers ‘Free Spree’ for Travel Professionals.” Trust me when I say this is just a small sampling of the seemingly endless number of ideas that come from Kimpton.
In part, we chose Kimpton for this issue’s cover story, “The Kimpton Difference” (page 10), because of this creativity. Kimpton fits the now-iconic mold of a company that comes out of the West with an unshakable confidence in who it is and what it stands for, and goes about changing its industry. Companies such as Starbucks, Apple and Disney began with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to defy conventional thinking. We see this bold attitude spill over in the travel choices of the Western traveler as well, and we know it’s a mindset that is shared by travel agents throughout the region.
At TravelAge West, we honor this spirit with our annual Trendsetter Awards, given to travel agents in the West who serve as an example to the rest of the industry. This year, we are giving awards in three categories: Best Group Booking Sales Effort, Industry Activist in Support of Travel Agents and Upward Bound, Rock Star Agent Under 40. In addition to being on the cover of TAW, the winning agents and runner-ups will win amazing travel prizes from our sponsors: the Globus Family of Brands, AMResorts and Gogo Vacations.
I encourage all agents to either enter themselves or spread the word to associates. The stories of these trendsetters provide inspiration for all of us, as well as focus supplier attention on the travel industry in the West. As Kimpton does for the hotel world, we know there are innovators out there in your world, and it’s time once again to give them credit where it’s due.