It’s no secret that Covid-19 has brought a lot of hardship and isolation to travel advisors. When Direct Travel started Town Hall zoom meetings for its advisors across North America six months ago, the plans were for the program to last a few weeks, or months at most.
“In fact, we have just marked our 25th town hall,” says Stephen Smith, Senior Vice-President of Leisure Marketing – North America for the group. “And they are proving not only a great way to share news from senior management, but a lifeline of communication for our advisors.”
The hourlong calls attract an average of 325 attendees. Industry updates, corporate policy initiatives and messages of support and care are all part of a typical call. During every session, there are members of the senior management team on hand to answer questions and help participants negotiate the pandemic.
“We feel that consistent and open communication with our team is so important during these challenging times,” says Gerard Bellino, Executive Vice President, Leisure at Direct Travel. The calls, held initially every two weeks, are now held weekly and are combined with e-updates from headquarters.
The calls are especially popular with the group’s independent advisors, adds Smith. “We are committed to keeping our ITAs in the loop and feeling part of the team, and know it’s so important now that there are no in-person trainings or industry events.”
Certainly the calls are a hit with Wisconsonite Alice Lambie. “The Town Hall Meetings have been so informative and truly helpful. And the Update Emails contain information I would not have access to without being part of this great team.”