Signature Holds Virtual Owners' Meeting; Optimistic About Future

With the surge of the delta variant in Hawaii forcing cancellation of its 2021 Owners’ Meeting, Signature Travel Network held the meeting virtually with hopes that this will be the last virtual gathering for the industry. Despite the last-minute shift, the message was optimistic and the trajectory, full-speed ahead.

Signature says it has added 33 members since the 2019 Owners’ Meeting for a total of 210 members in the U.S. and 71 international agencies. This has also translated in a strong growth in member portfolio sales of preferred suppliers: Since year-end 2019, Signature’s member portfolio cruise sales have increased 54.4 percent and land by 10 percent. 

In addition, Signature's member engagement and training departments have also accelerated programs to meet new needs. The introduction of Zoom meetings on securing government assistance have helped agencies "quickly procure funding to ride the storm." Simultaneously, the luxury travel network increased training opportunities to help members address new challenges—most significantly, how to decipher new international restrictions, rules and ever-changing regulations. Training also added a stronger focus on how to implement and leverage fees, and tools to increase advisor efficiency. Signature introduced "Member Exchange Zoom" groups for owners to share information and resources. 

Signature continued to adopt technological advancements during the pandemic, integrating Sherpa, a tool to access changing international regulations; enhancing Signature Cruise Pro Booking Engine; launching a new thorough reporting platform for critical Future Cruise and Trip Credit reports and continuing to invest in ClientConnection 2.0, Signature’s dynamic centralized database platform.

Marketing never stopped during the pandemic either, but it did pivot, slightly, according to the network. At no cost to members, Signature increased engagement for digital, refined the print focus, introduced new dynamic microsites and offered new value-add opportunities for investing partners. The network also hosted virtual consumer events during the pandemic. Over 4,800 consumers have attended generating an immediate 2,700 bookings with over $35 million in revenue. 

Beyond its own members, Signature added 115 new hotel partners in 2020 and 80 in 2021—many in the U.S., reflecting a strong shift in demand. This was coupled with over 1,000 hotel renewals. The land program also added new partners to address changing demand with a focus on excursions, small groups, active and FIT travel. After working with partners to secure cruise refunds and credits, the partnership team focused on capturing the over $300 million in Future Cruise and Trip credits on the books.   

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