Signature Travel Network welcomed more than 2,300 attendees from around the world to its annual sales conference, hosted at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from December 2 – 5. The theme for the event is “Elevate” with a focus on how members can offer their clients higher levels of personalized service by maximizing Signature’s technology and marketing tools, while also providing travelers a differentiated travel experience by leveraging the network’s preferred partnerships.
Good news: Sales are up across the board. Signature’s overall preferred partner sales increased nearly 10 percent in 2019 compared to 2018 with 11 percent growth in hotel revenue and high single-digit growth for cruise, insurance, land and specialty suppliers.
Overall, Europe business has increased more than 20 percent in 2019, and 2020 is pacing ahead compared to same time last year. Guided vacation sales reflect double-digit growth in 2019, which is on top of a more than a 20 percent increase in 2018. Cruise sales in 2020 have grown an additional 4 percent compared to same time last year 2019. Signature says it remains focused on building a strong base for 2020 through a broad range of jumpstart goals and additional marketing opportunities with both land and cruise partners.
A new focus of the three-day conference is the growing importance of niche travel markets. A series of workshops are being offered centering on active/adventure and expedition cruising, family travel, honeymoon and romance, LGBTQ+ travel and river cruising. Signature also announced training plans for 2020, ranging from online certification courses to firsthand experience learning opportunities hosted by preferred partners.
Ignacio Maza, executive vice president, is spearheading the expansion of the network’s luxury-focused training, adding new two-day immersion programs in various cities. A second annual Luxury Summit, following a sold out 2019 event, is scheduled for April 22, 2020 in Dallas.