2016 Romance Travel Forum – Interview with Jennifer Fernandez
We’re so excited to announce that we will be, once again, the official photographers for the 2016 Romance Travel Forum taking place May 9-13 at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande. In preparation for this fun event, we sat down with Jennifer Fernandez, the main organizer, to learn more about who she is and what she does.
We’ll let Jennifer give you some background on the forum itself:
In 2015, in Punta Cana, we welcomed 160 specialists to the Romance Travel Forum. For 2016, as we plan for our time in Jamaica, our goal is to bring in 175 specialists. These events are designed for the established romance travel seller, so our team hand-selects every delegate based on a very stringent qualification process. So we have a rule of quality over quantity.
We asked Jennifer what she loved about putting together these conventions, and this is what she had to say:
For starters, our delegates are so passionate about their business, and they inspire us to put on a fantastic event. Taking the event to different destinations that understand the importance of this audience, and working collaboratively with them on themed evening experiences or other on-island activities, is always fun. I have to say though, having an event that is the conduit where both suppliers and travel agents are building relationships and collectively growing their business—it’s something I’m very passionate about and extremely proud to be a part of.
Jennifer has been an event planner for over 20 years, and has been working with Specialty Travel Forums for the past 3 years—so she really knows her stuff! We asked her what the biggest challenges for destination weddings and travels agents were, and she replied:
Every destination wedding is unique, so in that respect, I think some of the challenges can be as well. One of the most common challenges I think agents face is when a guest of the destination wedding doesn’t stick to the plan. They think the negotiated rate is too expensive, so they look to book outside of the block or stay somewhere else completely. This kind of throws everything off balance and certainly makes the travel agents job a bit more difficult, not to mention trying to incorporate this guest into the planned activities.
In addition to the Romance Travel Forum, our parent company, Travel Show Marketing Group, produces the Home Based Travel Agent Forum, and with that event, I’ve had the opportunity to facilitate programs where we have seasoned pros share their tips on combating such issues. These panelists and presenters have offered some great guidance to agents that are struggling with these issues and providing great advice on pulling that guest back into the block.
We are so excited to be part of next year’s Romance Travel Forum, and we look forward to working with Jennifer as well as the many other amazing people who will be there!
If you are a travel agent focused on destination weddings and want to learn more about the forum, visit their website here.