23 APR 2013: Citing onerous overheads – and worse regulatory red tape – Paul Samuel and the staff of Overseas Travel in Toronto have recently joined Vision 2000 Travel Group. And it’s working out to be a perfect fit.

“As a small agency, we found our ability to market our services was limited, even though we were in a consortium,” says Samuel. “We looked at joining forces with another agency for a long time, but no one showed the enthusiasm, care or attention that Vision 2000 did.”

Overseas Travel is just one of several agencies which have recently come under the umbrella of Vision 2000, the largest Canadian-owned travel management company in the country. Each has found that their own strengths and abilities are enhanced by the range of services and influence that Vision 2000 can provide.

“A lot of small agency owners tell us they want to stay in the business – it’s in their blood – but they’re just tired of the paperwork, the challenges of being a small agency and cutthroat competition,” says Lynda Sinclair, Vision 2000’s director of leisure business development.

“We like to say to them ‘How can we make your problems go away?’ – and customize our agreement to suit them and their staff.”

Personal attention is another advantage, according to Samuel, who says that a consortium can deliver marketing programmes but at Vision 2000, “There’s someone here to actually show you how to do it. It’s much more collaborative.”

After learning a few new systems, he reports that his staff have settled in well, and there was no negative reaction from clients.

“We had a few questions but now they’re very positive and tell us they appreciate our new marketing pieces.”

Another newcomer is Dean McFadyen and the staff of Cruise Connoisseurs in Newmarket, Ontario. “We looked at various scenarios such as selling and merging, but decided on Vision 2000 because of the integrity of the owners and their reputation in the industry.”

Like Paul Samuel, McFadyen appreciates that Vision 2000 management took the time to personalize their agreement with him.

Agreements with the agencies vary. Those in cities where there is a Vision 2000 location are welcome to join the staff as independent travel advisors; while those elsewhere become home-based. “We welcome inquiries from any area of Canada,” says Sinclair.

“Long term, we’re thinking retirement, “says McFadyen, “In the interim we get to do what we love while Vision 2000 has taken all the technology headaches off our plate. We’re getting all the support in the world – it’s a great package.”

Lynda Sinclair can be reached at lynda.sinclair@vision2000.ca

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