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This issue’s cover story is based on the second annual Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, which TravelAge West hosted earlier this month in Aspen, Colo. At The Retreat, we brought together carefully selected travel advisors and suppliers who are early in their careers for three days of education, activities and networking designed specifically for them. The event is our way of nurturing the future of travel by making sure the next generation of professionals has the tools — both personally and in business — that they need to thrive in our industry.
This year, The Retreat’s theme was “Building a Roadmap to Success.” Some of the workshops were related to skills such as qualifying clients and managing finances, while other elements of The Retreat were focused on quality of life and finding a work-life balance.
As you can read in the story, The Retreat had a major impact on attendees who felt like the travel industry is finally investing in their career success. But our team found the event gratifying, as well. It provided an opportunity to focus on building a future that we can all be proud of. Our hope is that by helping this talented group, we’re creating a ripple effect that will improve the lives of attendees, as well as of the many travelers they’ll serve over the years.
Ultimately, the success or failure of The Retreat is based on how well it continues to motivate attendees in the months and years ahead. The true value of the lessons learned and the relationships developed will be based on the long-term happiness and satisfaction of group members throughout their careers.
At the very least, attendees left knowing they are part of a community.
“There was a feeling of support from everyone in the room at all times,” one advisor told us. “I got the sense that we were cheering for one another as a team, rather than competitors.”
We expect to continue to cheer on these advisors and suppliers for a long time to come.