A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of attending Delta Vacations University. It is an annual weekend conference for travel agents to familiarize them with vacation packages Delta offers around the world. This year, it was held in Atlanta at the Georgia International Conference Center.
I choose my courses based on market interest in my area. They were:
- Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cozumel
- Bahamas Out Islands
- Hawaii – Maui, Island of Hawaii and Lanai
- London and Paris
- St. Lucia
- Avalon Waterways River Cruises
Even though I’m from the Bahamas and have visited several of the out islands (and spent summers in Abaco as a child), I’ve never been versed in the many boutique hotels and eco-tourism packages the Bahamian Out Islands offer. It was absolutely fascinating! I even won a bottle of coconut rum for knowing the national beer of The Bahamas: Kalik, of course! (I may have had insider knowledge, but I won’t tell if you won’t.)
The London and Paris session boosted my confidence for sure. Having lived in London for a year and a half and visiting Paris numerous times (including this summer, read all about it here and here), confirmed that I can sell these cities with confidence.
My favorite session was Hawaii. From the hula dancers, tear-jerking commercials, leis, and kukui beads, I was transported. Hawaii is on my bucket list for sure!
Perhaps the most beneficial breakout session was a social media class with tips for building an audience and closing a booking. The week I got back, I utilized some of his social media tips and received a fair amount of feedback on my posts about Scotland. I’ll keep you updated as to whether these leads translate into actual bookings. Fingers crossed!
On the Saturday evening, halfway through the conference, the agents were treated to a private event at Skyline Park on top of Ponce City Market. The location is to die for with breathtaking views of Atlanta. Add carnival-style food (think walking tacos, hot dogs, and cotton candy), and carnival-style amusement (shoot the ducks, ring toss, and giant slides), it was a fantastic opportunity to network in a fun, stress-free environment. The pictures are awful I know, but you’ll get the idea.
The Delta Vacations University Trade Show was super fun. I literally left with a large insulated cooler bag full of literature, but most importantly goodies! I brought home t-shirts, a fedora, multiple insulated bags, jewelry, stuffed toys, snacks, stationery, and that’s just what I remember. But back to business, there were a few vendors I plan to follow-up with.
The last thing I want to cover is a touching moment between my fellow agents on the last day. Our friend’s daughter has a rare form of brain cancer and has been cancer-free for a year. She honors that achievement with a special Bible verse which we all wrote on our palms.
While she will never truly be in remission, she is strong and courageous every day. To help find a cure, her Mom founded the charity Open Hands Overflowing Hearts. I invite you to read more about it.
And so ends an exciting weekend in the life of a travel agent. If you have any questions or interest in any of the locations mentioned, please let me know.
As a full-service travel agent, I would love to be of assistance to you. I am passionate about what I do and pour that energy into crafting perfectly planned itineraries for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.