TBO Academy show: bridging knowledge - action gap


TBO Academy holds its own in the crowded landscape of the travel industry, customising travel education at scale and nurturing collaboration among industry professionals.

TTN had the privilege to sit down with TBO Academy representatives to gain insight into their groundbreaking approach at the glamorous debut of the TBO Academy Travel Business Show at Conrad Hotel Dubai. The event, which took place on September 19, welcomed over 400 travel agents – an impressive headcount for any inaugural B2B event in Dubai.

With more than 20 partners and speakers participating, TBO Academy has been receiving resoundingly positive feedback, Vidhu Lamba, Vice President at TBO Academy, tells us.

“In a world filled with numerous roadshows, TBO Academy Travel Business Show distinguishes itself by bringing a diverse array of travel-related businesses under one roof. Attendees are treated to an eclectic mix of offerings, ranging from European to Middle Eastern destinations. Notably, it’s not just about tourism boards but the event encapsulates the entire travel ecosystem, including hotels, DMCs and attractions.”

The main sponsors of TBO Academy Travel Business Show this year were Visit Saudi, Spain Tourism, Visit Qatar and Aroya Cruises, and several premium partners included Norwegian Cruise Line, JW Marriott Mauritius, Sun Siyam Resorts, Sunlife Resorts, Rail Europe, Millenium Hotels & Resorts, Kanaan Hospitality, Impiana Private Villas Seminyak, Dusit Thani Dubai and Le Printemps.

The event featured a book with write-ups about various destinations and courses hosted by academy. It also featured various properties from Americas, Europe, and Asia.

To sum up, the event has shaped up to be a one-stop-shop for all, reflecting TBO Academy’s commitment to creating an ecosystem that benefits both partners and suppliers, Lamba tells us.

However, TBO Academy’s vision extends far beyond roadshows. They have successfully created an ecosystem for education and industry insights. The TBO Academy, launched in 2018, addresses the critical need for knowledge enhancement among travel professionals. It offers a wealth of courses, blogs, news updates, and everything that can help to empower partners, enabling them to increase their revenues and enhance their business.

The courses offered are tailored to meet the specific needs of partners who want to understand the market, pitch products effectively, and cater to their clients’ diverse requirements. These courses are bite-sized, easily digestible, and can be completed in just 15 to 20 minutes, making them highly accessible to busy travel professionals.

The TBO Academy also offers interactive webinars that focus on understanding new products in the market and resolving agents’ queries. “We also provide expert courses for those looking to dive deeper into specific topics,” Lamba explains.

The best part? It’s entirely free for partners, emphasizing TBO Academy’s commitment to fostering knowledge and growth within the travel industry.

“For suppliers, TBO Academy also handles the Tourism Boards and other tourism products’ partnerships with TBO. A strategic alliance with TBO allows them to choose what best aligns with their objectives. Some may opt for branding and awareness, while others may focus on conversions and return on investment (ROI). The flexibility ensures that the academy can cater to the diverse needs of suppliers in the travel ecosystem,” says Lamba.

“In essence, TBO Academy isn’t just about hosting roadshows or promoting partners; it’s about bridging the gap between knowledge and action. It’s a dynamic and holistic approach that benefits both partners and suppliers, offering a wide array of courses and resources, all designed to empower the travel community.”

And it is definitely not all work and no play at TBO Academy, with the inaugural TBO Academy Business Travel Show proving just how fun and ‘rewarding’ the travel sector can truly be. Grand prizes were given away every hour during the day-long event, varying from stay vouchers for luxury properties, the grand prize of a Frankfurt trip, premium shopping vouchers, and even iPhones.

A magic show and a caricature artist provided opportunities on-site for engagement and entertainment.

“Stay tuned for the next chapter of TBO Academy Business Show taking place in 2024, returning due to high public demand,” concludes Lamba.