Travel Associates (TA) held their sixth annual Industry Partner Showcase over the weekend at The Star on the Gold Coast with 350 delegates pumping up the partner volume.

With TA Advisers touching down on Friday on the Gold Coast, the stage was set for two days of learnings and quality time with 49 new and existing Platinum, Gold and Silver preferred partners showcasing their premium wares.

This year’s ‘Connections’ theme played to the importance of relationships with the chance to meet in person and get valuable facetime and product updates in before the onset of the next busy booking season.

The informal agenda itself took the form of plenary sessions and breakout presentations with plenty of one on one time for more in-depth Q&A’s.

Dani Galloway, GM FCTG Premium Leisure Brands

Speaking to Karryon about this year’s Showcase, Anna Burgdorf, GM Marketing Product TA said:

“This is one of the most important annual events that we do as a business because the connection and relationship part of our business is so core to our DNA.

“The two-day model works well because there’s plenty of downtime to chat, get to know each other and better understand each other’s businesses. The feedback from suppliers and advisers on the format of this year’s event has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Anna Burgdorf, GM Marketing and Product for TA

This year’s Showcase also saw the inaugural inclusion of TA’s recently launched ‘Cruise Boutique’ business, currently made up of 14 stores but with plans, TA says to expand to 20 within this financial year.

Asked about the importance of Cruise Boutique’s inclusion at this year’s event, Anna said:

“Not only are our 14 Cruise Boutiques so excited to have a new opportunity, but also to have our partners support. Our partners are thrilled that we’re taking the opportunity to hone in on such an important aspect of tourism and travel in Australia.”

As a leading luxury travel retailer with two decades now under its premium belt, Anna says the high level of TA’s ‘Purple Ribbon experience’, and client engagement proposition continues to be a key market advantage.

“I think our ability and passion in making genuine connections are the two hallmarks of TA. Something that we appreciate beyond anything else is that our advisers are continually travelling – which is crucial, because otherwise, how do you become better? We encourage holidays, trips, famils and educationals because it’s the only way to keep up product knowledge at that expert level. Otherwise, you can quickly become an armchair traveller.

“If amongst our 400 plus advisers we can’t answer a client’s question about a particular form of travel, a DMC or a hotel – I’m not sure that it exists.”

Anna Burgdorf, GM Marketing and Product for TA

Team Adventure World & Danielle Galloway, GM FCTG Premium Leisure Brands

From an entertainment perspective, delegates enjoyed two big nights of socialising at The Star thanks to glitzy events from the Showcases two Platinum Partners.

Friday evening featured a poolside white party hosted by Platinum Partners Azamara and Celebrity cruises including a silent disco while Adventure World brought a lavish ‘Touch of Wild’ feel to Saturday night’s closing event at The Star.

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