Interview By: Andy Ogg, CTIE, Co-Owner – Travel Professional NEWS
First off, thank you very much for the time today and joining our fantastic Travel Professional NEWS readers!
Would you mind sharing a bit about yourself and your Agency with our readers? Where are you located? How did you become a Travel Professional?
Travel has been my passion for quite some time. My friends have referred to me as “Party Planner” for many years. It seemed inevitable in hindsight that I end up in the travel industry. Trova is the Italian word for find or discover. Trova Travel Group’s core value is to help clients discover places and experiences that they would not have been able to on their own. My goal is for our clients to be lifelong clients, as we help them make their way through the world. We are based in Raleigh, NC. I began working for a very niche, luxury golf cruise company in 2014 as a reservations manager. Fast forward to 2019 when I joined Nexion Travel Group. It wasn’t until May 2020 that Trova Travel Group was born, after I decided to venture out on my own. I am so excited to begin this new journey!
How long have you been partnered with our friends at Nexion Travel Group?
I joined Nexion in April 2019.
During this pandemic, many things have changed such as the conference model; how did you feel about the CoNexion at Home conference this year?
Nothing can compare to an in-person conference, but CoNexion at Home was great! It captured all of the important components I have learned to expect from Nexion — inspiration, support and connection. Vendors, staff and fellow travel advisors were all so easily accessible on the platform and in break-out rooms. I was surprised to meet as many new people as I did from a virtual environment. Engage. Exchange. Excel. is the tagline for CoNexion, and I felt like everyone went above and beyond to make that happen.
Was this your first CoNexion event?
I attended my first CoNexion in 2019 at Universal Orlando Resorts. It is such a wonderful event; I plan on attending every year.
What three take-a-ways struck you as the most important things from this year’s Nexion Travel Group conference?
Firstly, the quality of people from the top down. Every Nexion staff, advisor or partner that I have met is eager to help however they can. The exchange of ideas, tactics or contacts is flowing in all directions. While Nexion is a host agency of thousands, I have never felt like a number.
Secondly, that our vendor and supplier partners are often big in terms of name and size, but are just a phone call, text or email away to help us in any possible way they can. The relationship that these companies have built with Nexion and its advisors over time is truly remarkable. We have direct access to a name and a face, which is such an advantage.
Thirdly, that our industry is a formidable network of passionate people. We have had to adjust to so many things this year, and every facet of this industry has done so quite exceptionally. Between new cleaning and sanitizing procedures, limiting occupancy numbers, contactless check-ins and many other types of change — it all appeared seamless, even though we know it was not.
With 2021 on the horizon, what best practices will you apply to your business to #getbacktotravel?
Nothing can replace the personal element. Continued outreach to existing clients to check in on them. I have sent handwritten notes, as well. Continuing education has been a large part of how I have spent 2020. There are so many different forms of education being offered from conferences to webinars to online courses. I’m grateful for the time I have been able to spend working on my business during the pause in travel.
Our industry has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic, but as many of the presenters and panels discussed, our industry is resilient. What are your thoughts on the future of travel?
I absolutely concur, our industry is resilient. I think people are so hungry to travel that it will be back and better than ever in time. One of the key aspects will be for those of us in the industry to get back out there and travel, and then share our experiences. There is no better way to promote our value than by sharing our first-hand knowledge with each other and our clients. I plan to do just that by traveling once each month through the end of 2020.
Before we conclude, I personally want to thank you for your time and information shared today. We appreciate your involvement in our publication!
Thank you so much for including me.