Get Us in Your Inbox
From May 1-3, suppliers and travel agents connected at Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., for the second year of Global Travel Marketplace West (GTM West), an elite education and networking event powered by TravelAge West and Travel Weekly. Following the successful model of the inaugural year, agents and suppliers met in small-group boardroom sessions and for six-minute one-on-one appointments, in which agents were assigned a table and suppliers traveled from agent to agent.
“The success of this year’s GTM West far exceeded our expectations,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group for Northstar Travel Media. “The business closed on-site by these high-caliber travel agents and top-producing global suppliers is record-breaking, and we expect those relationships to continue and grow as a result of attending the event. We look forward to yet another incredible GTM this June at our flagship event in Florida.”
Out of the 700 applications received, 78 travel agents were chosen to attend the fully-hosted event. Eighty-two suppliers were in attendance, including major sponsors G Adventures, Intrepid Group, ShoreTrips, Mexico Tourism Board, Visit Tucson, Tourism Ireland, Le Meridien, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Exclusive Group Travel. Agents and suppliers alike praised the event for its high-quality business outcomes.
Mathy Wasserman, owner of Cruise Planners, said the event was her “most intense sales- and marketing-focused networking experience” and expects that her new destination and supplier contacts will help improve her agency’s business model.
“We had huge success with a group booking on the second day and can guarantee we will be at all future events,” said Joe Jiffo, vice president of sales for Exclusive Group Travel. “If my team and I did 50 sales calls over a one-week period, we would not have had the success and outcome we did with the 50-plus appointments at GTM West over a two-day period. No other event in the industry is this well thought out and planned with such details in mind for suppliers and agents.”
GTM West will return to Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa on May 4-6, 2016. GTM is still accepting applications for the June 28-30 event at Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood, a Curio Collection by Hilton, in Hollywood, Fla.
During this year’s Global Travel Marketplace West (GTM West) opening reception at Tanque Verde Ranch Resort, sponsored by Visit Tucson, travel agents and suppliers gathered together for a traditional “dude ranch” experience in Tucson. // © 2015 J. Martin Harris Travel & Leisure Photography
Attendees were greeted by an authentic mariachi band at Tanque Verde Ranch Resort. // © 2015 J. Martin Harris Travel & Leisure Photography
Pablo Henderson, brand manager for Le Meridien, hosted a small-group boardroom presentation to showcase the company’s new properties, offerings, services and its travel agent support structure. // © 2015 J. Martin Harris Travel & Leisure Photography
Travel agent Susan Cauthen of Susan Cauthen Travel (right) conducted her one-on-one pre-scheduled meeting with Christina Franco, business travel sales manager for the Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood in Hollywood, Fla. // © 2015 J. Martin Harris Travel & Leisure Photography
GTM West attendees networked poolside during the Saturday evening dinner reception sponsored by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. // © 2015 J. Martin Harris Travel & Leisure Photography
During Sunday's breakfast, attendees engaged with Mexico Tourism Board to learn more about the destination and its support for travel agents. // © 2015 J. Martin Harris Travel & Leisure Photography
Global Travel Marketplace Westwww.gtmwest.com
Global Travel Marketplacewww.gtmflagship.com/home