2Getaway Travel’s Randy Otts and Lisa Otts. (photo via Claudette Covey)
Travel advisors attending Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ 15th annual Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant Awards (GIVC) conference gave the event high marks on its general session, panels, breakout sessions, product updates and site inspections.
“Karisma has been a consistent and constant partner to All Inclusive Outlet over the years and helped to facilitate our growth via a collaborative approach to business together,’ said Sarah Flook, director of product at All Inclusive Outlet.
“This year’s event was extremely productive and marks a great comeback to normality after the pandemic years, where in-person events were not possible, or extremely scaled back.”
“Being able to meet our partners face to face is vital for growth and strategy alignment. Yes, this can be done to an extent via Zoom or Teams but celebrating our joint successes after a very tough period is extremely important and GIVC 2022 allowed this to happen.”
Other advisers echoed similar sentiments.
“I thought the event was fantastic,” said Be All Inclusive President James Berglie, whose agency took home an array of GIVC awards, including top GIVC Diamond 5, and 10 producer and top 10 weddings producer for El Dorado Spa Resorts and Generations Resorts.
James Berglie of Be All Inclusive. (photo via Claudette Covey)
“Of course, this industry is very much about relationships, so it’s important to spend time face-to-face networking with our partners,” Berglie said. “We get the first information on upcoming product updates and plans for the company moving forward, which puts us at a great advantage when helping our clients choose the right resorts.”
“We absolutely love attending the GIVC Awards,” said VIP Vacations Office Manager Emily Bertsch, CTC, whose awards included Elite status, top 10 producer for El Dorado Spa Resorts, Margaritaville Island Reserve and Generations Resorts, and top wedding producer for Generations.
VIP Vacations Emily Bertsch, left, and Jennifer Doncsecz. (photo via Claudette Covey)
“This event, more than anything, is the best way for us to grow our relationships with them. The event always offers everything we need in order to stay up to date on product knowledge [with] their site inspections and breakout sessions.”
Randy and Lisa Otts, owners of 2Getaway Travel, who received a Diamond Level 3 award and another for being a top producer for Margaritaville St. Somewhere, also found the GIVC to be extremely productive.
“I thought the panels had great information and the breakout sessions were very informative,” he said. “Karisma is the most supportive of all resort companies out there. They always have our backs!”
Beyond the GIVC event itself, advisors also gave Karisma high praise for its agent-friendly policies and brands.
“The Karisma travel agency portal is one of the best! It is where we can find almost all of the answers to any questions that arise along the way,” Bertsch said.
“In addition, the resorts sell themselves. In order to get a new client to a Karisma property, we always rave about our personal experiences at these resorts since the brand is not a household name.
“But once they’ve gone, the brand easily sells itself while the clients are there with their incredible food and impeccable service from the staff. There is no other brand that makes you feel more at home!”
“Karisma is one of very few brands that are not afraid to think outside the box. The brand bucks the ‘standard corporate’ mentality that many other brands have,” Berglie said.
“As an agency owner who does things a bit differently in terms of marketing and obtaining new clients, I’m able to bring ideas for promotions and marketing initiatives to Karisma and instead of the standard ‘I’ll have to check with corporate and get back to you’ response that I get from many of their competitors, they instead make things happen without the bureaucratic red tape.”
The conference, which ran from Oct. 30-Nov. 2, was held at El Dorado Resorts and Spas Riviera Maya, and its general session took place at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya.
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