Travel Planners International has created two new tiers of preferred suppliers, Elite and Platinum partners, for the suppliers that best support the host agency and its advisors.

"We knew we needed to help all of our advisors make really good decisions on who to spend their time and energy with from a partner standpoint, based on how that partner is positioned with TPI overall," said vice president of sales and marketing Jenn Lee said.

Royal Caribbean Group, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Apple Leisure Group and Norwegian Cruise Line were awarded Elite partner status, the highest level.

Platinum partner status went to Princess Cruises, Delta Vacations, AmaWaterways, AIG Travel Guard, Sandals Resorts, the Globus family of brands, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Viking Cruises and Vacation Express.

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Jenn Lee
Jenn Lee

To develop the list of supplier partners elevated from simply preferred status to Elite or Platinum, Lee said TPI scored every supplier on several factors. That included what a supplier's co-marketing investment with TPI is; what its override opportunity is; whether or not it gave exclusives to TPI ; how responsive the supplier's business development manager is; transparent communication; and overall commitment to TPI and its advisors.

Suppliers' Covid-19 response was also taken into account.

Suppliers were evaluated by Lee and an internal TPI team, including its marketing and events manager, business development manager and partner relations manager.

"It started with us having the desire to honor those partners that have always done a good job but really nailed it this year," Lee said.

In addition to bragging rights and higher exposure to TPI agents internally, the suppliers will get the first shot at things like TPI's most premium marketing package, Lee said.

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