Vision Travel Launches Enhanced Programs for ITAs

Stephen Smith Vision Travel
Stephen Smith, Senior Vice President, Leisure Marketing

As part of its campaign to build its team of Independent Travel Advisors, Direct Travel (whose leisure arm in Canada is Vision Travel) has launched the ASCENT Program, which gives agents access to business development support and training opportunities.

The program’s launch coincides with the recent recruitment of Joelle Goldman, formerly with Virtuoso, in the new role of Vice President, Host Services and Nicole Goodheart, formerly with CWT Vacations, in the new role of Director, Leisure Operations.

“In a world where travel has been turned upside down and revenues are scarce, we felt the need to establish a program to further support our ITAs – one which will have long-term value for them,” stated Gerard Bellino, Executive Vice President, Leisure Travel.

ASCENT is an acronym that spells out each element of the program, added Stephen Smith, Toronto-based Senior Vice President, Leisure Marketing.

“From access and support to training and development, it’s a full package for the independent travel advisor or the agency owner looking for a new host,” he said.


  • A is for Access to systems, partners, and back-up for advisors and their clients
  • S is for Support in business development, lead generation and strategic suppliers
  • C is for Collaboration and a strong sense of community
  • E is for Elevate: to ensure success in building and maintaining business
  • N is for Networking: helping advisors build relationships with partners, colleagues and collaborators
  • T is for Training and Development, with access to the Virtuoso Travel Academy, continual supplier training, and ongoing professional development including weekly Town Hall zoom calls with Direct Travel’s senior management.

Brian Robertson, President, Canada West region of Direct Travel, said ASCENT combines a support system, the latest technology and a partnership with Virtuoso, the world’s leading luxury travel network to benefit agents.

“We have a marketing team to drive client engagement and generate leads for all advisors; a supplier management team that builds personal relationships with regional and national suppliers; and a leadership team which has strong connections to key decision makers at a global level,” added Robertson.

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