RUTHERFORD, NJ – The sixth-annual Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, powered by TravelAge West, took place at the Hyatt Ziva/Zilara Rose Hall in Jamaica from August 27-30, 2023. Future Leaders is dedicated to connecting the next generation of travel buyers and sellers to create career-long relationships and strategic business partnerships.
Future Leaders is designed for travel professionals between the ages of 22 and 37 to foster the growth and development of the industry’s next wave of leaders. It is intimate in nature, with only 65 advisors accepted to participate—meeting, learning and networking alongside a curated group of supplier partners.
"This year’s group of advisor attendees was incredibly impressive,” said Emma Weissmann, Managing Editor, TravelAge West. “Among them were award winners, agency owners, and million-dollar sellers. While they all have their unique accolades and business models, they share one thing—the drive to move our industry forward.”
The travel advisors in attendance were selected through an application process requiring advisors to demonstrate their personal brand, share thoughts on the current state of the industry, and provide professional references. Return suppliers understand the importance of building relationships with this demographic of travel advisors.
“We continue to support Future Leaders because we see the potential in this particular subset of advisors,” said Lindsey Wagner, Virgin Voyages. “You can glean from the conversations you have here that these advisors are excited, they're hungry, they're eager, and they are passionate about this industry. We walk away from this event with takeaways, solid leads and great follow-ups.”
Advisors also build relationships with one another that will serve them throughout their careers. Returning advisors, known as Guides, have seen the benefits of those connections since the 2022 event.
“I met travel advisors at Future Leaders that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise,” said Courtney Jackson, Wishful Escapes. “We text, we're Facebook friends, we collaborate with each other, we talk regularly. Networking with other advisors has really helped me grow my business because we've been able to share best practices, destination knowledge, and just general travel information. And that sharing starts at Future Leaders where the content is discussion-based and focuses on personal and professional development.”
Event programming included collaborative content sessions that focused on sharing new ways of doing business. In addition to the educational content, the event featured one-to-one meetings between advisors and supplier participants. These meetings proved to be very valuable for both parties.
“The supplier meetings are hugely beneficial,” said Tyson Wharton, Sioux Empire Travel. “I've met so many suppliers that I either only talk to via email or that I've just met for the first time. I'm learning about their products and there are at least seven or eight different products that I can present to my clients that I didn't even know existed.”
“During the appointments, everyone's asking how they can learn. They’re asking what we offer to add value and help them sell to their clients,” said Patrick Rafferty, ALG Vacations. “It's always great to hear that people want to learn more, and it’s really inspiring.
Future Leaders will be located at a Playa Hotels & Resorts property again in 2024. It will move to the Hilton La Romana in the Dominican Republic, taking place August 25-29, 2024. For more information, and to be notified when advisor applications open, please visit www.futureleadersintravel.com. For supplier inquiries, contact Emmy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt Hatch at email@example.com.
About Northstar Travel Group
Northstar Travel Group is the leading B-to-B media company providing information and marketing solutions for the global travel industry. The company owns 14 media brands connecting 1.2m industry professionals through a comprehensive portfolio of digital, social, print and more than 100 events in 13 countries. Northstar Travel Group is owned by EagleTree Capital.