Top News From the Signature Conference

Alex Sharpe

Signature Travel Network hosted its annual sales conference December 2 – 5 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Here’s a look at the biggest headlines from the event, which drew more than 2,300 attendees. 

Themed “Elevate,” executives at the event reported strong growth for the organization, with sales up across the board. Preferred partner sales increased nearly 10 percent in 2019 versus 2018, with Europe in particular up more than 20 percent. Looking ahead to 2020, sales are already pacing ahead. 

Signature also announced that its training plans for 2020 will range from online certification courses to fam trip opportunities. Ignacio Maza, executive vice president, is heading up the expansion of the network’s luxury-focused training, which will add new two-day immersion programs in popular cities. Additionally, a second annual Luxury Summit is scheduled for April 22, 2020, in Dallas. 

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In keeping with the conference theme, Signature also launched a new charitable foundation, Travel Elevates, at the conference. The mission of the new foundation is to “leverage [its global travel partnerships to elevate people through education and economic empowerment.” The nonprofit will be supported by Signature staff, members, clients and preferred partners, and it will work to encourage travel to new destinations and to promote service projects in the local communities. The foundation will select two projects annually to support. Signature advisors will also be able to suggest projects to their clients in destinations they are visiting, as well as to add charitable components to their itineraries. 

Finally, Signature welcomed a number of new preferred partners at this year’s conference. The organization added 54 hotels to its 2020 Hotels & Resorts Collection, bringing the total number of hotels to over 1,100. Standouts for 2020 include Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski in Portsmouth, Dominica, and Halepuna Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii. Signature also welcomed Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways, MT Sobek and the tourism boards of Belize, Catalonia, Puerto Rico, Charleston, Nashville, the UK and Portugal. 

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