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This issue’s cover story, The 2020 Future Leaders in Travel Retreat Unites Advisors and Suppliers in Their Resolve to Build Back Better, shares some of the content highlights from this year’s Future Leaders in Travel Retreat. In the past, the annual event has taken place in Aspen, Colo., but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was virtual this year. Despite this change, it’s clear that the retreat’s content resonated deeply with attendees.
The purpose of the retreat is to help support the next generation of travel advisors and suppliers as they look to build long-standing relationships in the industry. According to a recent advisor survey — part of TravelAge West’s Need to Know research series — this mission is more important than ever. In the survey of more than 300 advisors, 78% said that there are no agents under 30 years old working at their agency. Eighty-five percent of respondents say they have no program for hiring new-to-the-industry advisors, while 65% have no formal training program.
Given these disappointing numbers, programs such as the Future Leaders in Travel Retreat are crucial for developing talent and making long-lasting connections. A well-trained, thriving future generation of advisors is the best way for the advisor community to make sure its professionalism is on display.
During a panel on mentorship at the retreat, Christen Perry, founder and owner of Classic Travel Connection, struck a chord with the audience.
“Don’t have a mindset of scarcity,” she said. “Have a mindset of abundance, and know that when you’re sharing, you’re receiving. You never know when you share something if that person will help you later with information that is very important to your business. So, not sharing what you know is really doing a disservice to yourself more than anyone else.”
It is this spirit of community — an extension of the fact that, especially now, we are all in this together — that will ultimately create a future that we can all be proud of.