Fact is- YTB isn't going away..But from someone who was actually there, I received this:
Did you count how many people were at FUNSHINE this year??
I was astounded! The numbers were up- the vendors were up- and I am pretty sure that we had more vendors at our travel trade show than any other...again. If they hate us why do they come? ( And they sure did show out with colors a blazin!)
This was my fourth year in a row to attend Funshine. As expected, it was different this year. The crowd this year was the smallest I have seen in 4 years. All the people attending were enthusiastic about YTB so there is a new breed of YTB agents coming up to replace those that quit.
There was only one 2 hour general session for announcements and awards. There were no numbers with the awards which I was disappointed about. The only travel award given was the top 10 referring travel agents who received the highest travel commissions for the year and they had to receive a travel commission check every one of the last 12 months. That was it, no numbers on how much was earned or booked.
There were coincidently fewer suppliers coinciding with the fewer number of RTAs. The training sessions were well attended, meaning the seats were 3/4 full to full capacity at every meeting. There were several YTB Preferred vendors there. I don't want to go into detail which companies were there. It was well worth my time and money.And judging from the empty booths in Coach's Facebook video and the 11 people waiting in line to get it signed, I have to think the second report is more believable.
What is particularly amusing is that the criteria to win a "travel award" is to receive a check each month from YTB regardless of the amount. Keeping in mind:
In 2008, 43,670 (49%) of all TSOs received no income at all.And then there is this little tidbit:
The average annual income for all TSOs in 2008 was $111.26.But seriously, even the top travel producer in YTB only earned $2000 a month. Honestly, it is a joke! And something even more