Toronto Travel Agent Initiates T-Shirt Sales To Support Industry
The wound inflicted by the pandemic on the travel industry is deep, mentally, emotionally and financially. To help the industry – and contribute to a worthy cause – one advisor launched a new initiative as his way of supporting a sector he is deeply passionate about.
Joe Scott, president of Toronto-based Year Round Travel and 35-year travel industry veteran, founded a platform where advisors’ clients can buy travel-themed t-shirts. The advisor receives a 33% pre-tax commission – or around $10 — from each sale.
Called the Travel Industry Workers Global Assistance Initiative (TIWGAI), Scott calls it “a revenue-generating opportunity for all travel companies and industry personnel that are currently laid off, unemployed or otherwise economically challenged due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
Advisors must be registered as a partner for their sales to be tracked and commissions applied. Scott receives no profit from the sales.
“I am very passionate about travel and this is a way that I could try and give back. You’re not going to get rich doing it, but it will generate immediate income,” Scott tells Open Jaw.
Beyond the instant revenue, it’s an excuse to reconnect with past clients, says Scott. There’s also a charitable component to TIWGAI, where $1 from each t-shirt sale is donated to frontline healthcare workers.
In that sense, it’s a “win-win-win situation,” he says.
With the t-shirts capturing four main travel themes, clients can choose the print and colour that speaks most to their inner globetrotter, whether they identify most with Consummate Cruiser t-shirt, the Frequent Flyer, the Revel Roadtripper or the Quintessential Coach Tourer.
“When the pandemic was rearing its head, all we heard was that we have to flatten the curve. I wanted to show these specific travel modes clamping down the curve with a little sunshine in the back depicting that there’s going to be sunshine on the horizon,” Scott says.
“I’m using an eco-friendly Canadian company. These are very high quality, 100% cotton t-shirts, properly sized. I wanted to go with a quality product and not try to tamp the price down and go with something sub-par.”
It was back in the first weeks of the pandemic when Scott was moved to launch the initiative, when he, like fellow travel advisors around the world, was busy repatriating travellers, renegotiating contracts… and losing commissions.
“I was sitting there thinking, ‘This is really impacting our business and I can’t see any short to medium term solution. What can I do for the industry that I love so much to help people?”
After several weeks getting the creative, technical and legal components together, Scott personally beta tested TIWGAI with an email campaign to Year Round Travel’s client base. He sold over 100 shirts in one week.
“People were just so glad to hear from me and say they understand what our industry is going through, so they were happy to contribute,” Scott says.
Now, he is inviting colleagues across the country to participate in a fun initiative – and potentially earn a few bucks while they’re at it.
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