Roundup: The Travel Summit 2024

After an outstanding weekend at The Travel Summit 2024, we’ve had a few days to rest up and reflect on the largest event we’ve organized to date.

We’d like to offer a roundup of The Travel Summit 2024 for our sponsors, special guests, speakers, and attendees, including some highlights, photos, and impressions.

Friday Evening VIP Event

The first official event at The Travel Summit 2024 was our Friday Evening VIP Event, which we hosted at the five-star St. Regis Toronto.

Our VIP guests were welcomed by The Travel Summit 2024 staff, and enjoyed early registration for the weekend’s festivities.

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The full complement of speakers, sponsors, and industry guests were on hand for an evening of conversation and networking, as well as some curated touches.

After grabbing a custom aviation cocktail from the ice sculpture at the bar, attendees mixed and mingled with each other, creating a buzz throughout the event space.

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Ricky Zhang delivered opening remarks, which were followed shortly by the ubiquitous Champagne sabrage ceremony, lead by the Butler team at The St. Regis Toronto.

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Air Canada – a Diamond Sponsor for The Travel Summit 2024 – had a sommelier on hand to showcase a selection of the airline’s featured wines available in business class, bringing the experience at 35,000 feet down to the ground.

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Guests at the VIP event enjoyed a delicious array of buffet items, which paired nicely with the wines suggested by the sommelier.

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Halfway through the evening, Tyler Shaw took to the stage to deliver an outstanding performance in an intimate setting. 

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Throughout the evening, Marriott Bonvoy – the Presenting Sponsor of The Travel Summit 2024 – generously provided custom gift bags for our VIP guests. 

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As the evening drew to a close, Air Canada also offered attendees a bottle of wine from its collection to enjoy at home.

Welcome to The Travel Summit 2024

Early the next day, registration began for our 500+ guests, who filed in to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to collect their lanyards and engage with the activations on site. 

Aside from a strong complement of Canadian guests, we were thrilled to welcome 40% of our guests who flew in from the United States, as well as speakers and attendees from Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Hungary, and even Australia.

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Marriott Bonvoy set up a beautiful hotel lobby activation front-and-centre, which was a busy spot for guests throughout the weekend. Plenty of staff from Marriott Bonvoy were on hand to engage with attendees, who also left with some goodies.

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Aeroplan’s Escape Room also had a strong engagement throughout the weekend, as guests were tasked with answering questions to win Aeroplan points, as well as the chance to win Aeroplan 50K status as part of the grand-prize draw.

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On the way to the main auditorium, attendees had the chance to learn more about Prince Collection – our in-house travel agency – as well as engage with some of the other sponsors of The Travel Summit 2024, including TravelCon, ALLWAYS, Chexy, Rock Star Inner Circle, and Shippsy.

As the main auditorium filled up, Ricky Zhang delivered the opening remarks and officially welcomed everyone to The Travel Summit 2024, providing his reflections on the growth since the first edition of The Travel Summit in 2022, as well as his excitement for the weekend ahead.

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Industry Leaders Panel: an Inside View of Travel & Loyalty

After the opening remarks concluded, we kicked off The Travel Summit 2024 with one of the most anticipated sessions of the event, the Industry Leaders Panel.

The room was packed as Mike Arnot, Principal at Juliett Alpha Media Relations, moderated the panel, which consisted of Scott O’Leary (VP Loyalty & Product, Air Canada), Mark Ross-Smith (CEO and Co-Founder, StatusMatch), Ben Lipsey (SVP Customer Loyalty | Head of Flying Blue, Air France/KLM), and Dave Canty (SVP, Head of Loyalty & Partnerships, Bilt Rewards).

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The audience was treated to an insightful discussion about the current state of affairs in loyalty, as well as industry trends for the future.

Scott O’Leary hinted at more exciting developments to come from Aeroplan later in 2024, while Ben Lipsey discussed his plan for Flying Blue to increase its presence in North America, as well as the eventual introduction of upgrades with Flying Blue miles.

Mark Ross-Smith touched on how Status Match bridges the gap between airlines and loyal consumers in a secure fashion, while Dave Canty shared his vast expertise with building loyalty programs, including the popular Bilt Rewards in the US.

For all in attendance, the Industry Leaders Panel gave an insider’s view into some of the best loyalty programs out there. 

Saturday Breakout Sessions

Following a networking break, The Travel Summit 2024 began in earnest with the first of three breakout sessions for the day.

Attendees could pick and choose between four tracks throughout the event: Miles & Points – The Points Beginner, Miles & Points – The Frequent Flyer, Travel Freedom – The Lifestyle Designer, and Travel Freedom – The Content Creator.

Each session was hosted by one or two experts in the field, who guided attendees through their topics and answered any and all questions that arose during or after the sessions.

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Three presentations took place on the main stage, while others were spread across three more intimate rooms.  img 663a86dace285

In between sessions, there was very energetic discussions and networking taking place around the host venue. It was also a great time to interact with the various activations from our sponsors. 

All attendees of The Travel Summit 2024 will receive recordings of the sessions, so if you had to miss one because you had to choose another, you won’t miss out on any of the valuable information shared by our speakers.

Marriott Bonvoy Keynote Speech

The first day of The Travel Summit 2024 concluded with a keynote speech from Nikhil Takalkar, Senior Vice President, Loyalty Program Operations at Marriott Bonvoy, and Laura Pallotta, Regional Vice President Sales and Distribution, Marriott Hotels of Canada.

Mr. Takalkar shared some very interesting facts and figures about Marriott Bonvoy, as well as some anecdotes from his career, and Ms. Pallotta presented the audience with information about Marriott from a Canadian perspective.

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Following the keynote addresses, our MC Jayce Loh hosted Mr. Takalkar and Ms. Pallotta for a fireside discussion.

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The two special guests answered questions prepared by Jayce, and also took some candid ones from the audience.

Day 1 of The Travel Summit 2024 officially ended with a surprise from Marriott Bonvoy. Under each chair was an envelope, which contained a code. At the Marriott Bonvoy activation, there was a safe with rotating prizes, and if your code unlocked the safe, you’d win the corresponding prize.

It was a great way to cap off an exciting day, but the festivities weren’t entirely finished just yet.

Saturday Night Social

Immediately after the keynote address wrapped up, guests, speakers, and special guests made their way to the Westin Harbour Castle – the official host venue for The Travel Summit 2024.

VIP guests were treated to a glass of Champagne and a dedicated entrance, while all other attendees and speakers ordered signature cocktails and drinks after receiving their drink tickets.


As a DJ played a set, we mixed, mingled, and shared our best tips and tricks while overlooking Lake Ontario, with light nibbles on hand for all.

The night officially wrapped up at 10pm, but there appeared to be many groups of Miles & Points enthusiasts who continued the networking offsite.

Welcome Back, Miles4Migrants

For the second time in a row, our charity partner – Miles4Migrants – kicked off Day 2 of The Travel Summit with a keynote presentation. 

Patrick Stouffer shared with us the history of and mission behind Miles4Migrants, which helps people fleeing war and violence get to safety with donations of cash, points, and miles to cover the cost of flights.

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Once again, Patrick’s engaging presentation was a great reminder of the privilege of travel, and how not everyone travels simply for leisure.

Attendees also participated in the “Yeet a Plane” activation, which was facilitated by the Upper College of Canada in support of the charity campaign partnership with Prince of Travel, Air France KLM Flying Blue, and Miles4Migrants.

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By participating in the “Yeet a Plane” challenge, guests vied for the longest throw of a paper airline. The planes were then made into an art installation, and guests could donate cash or points/miles in support of the charity campaign.

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In sum, guests, speakers, and staff at The Travel Summit raised over $15,000 in cash and points/miles for Miles4Migrants, and we’re extremely grateful for everyone’s generosity in raising money and miles for such an important charitable cause.

There’s an ongoing campaign in support of our goal of reaching $25,000 by June 30, 2024. Plus, if you make a donation of $100 (CAD) or more, you’ll be entered into a draw to win 100,000 Flying Blue miles.

Full details can be found on the charity campaign website.

Sunday Breakout Sessions

Day 2 of The Travel Summit 2024 continued with three more rounds of breakout sessions, once again covering a range of topics within our four tracks.

Attendees were once again treated to valuable information from some of the best in the business, with plenty of opportunities to mix, mingle, and network in between. 

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We were thrilled to see such an engaged audience in each session, with the question and answer sessions often spilling out into the hallways afterwards.

To wrap things up, Ricky Zhang took to the stage once again to share his thoughts and gratitude for everyone who participated. 

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The event formally wrapped up with the last grand-prize giveaways of the event, including an all-inclusive trip for two to Cancun and a global airport lounge pass.

One lucky attendee who successfully completed the Aeroplan Escape Room challenge was awarded with Aeroplan 50K status, which will help her travel in style for the remainder of 2024.


From an elevated Friday Evening VIP Event to the closing remarks, The Travel Summit 2024 was a resounding success. 

The Travel Summit 2024 team would like to extend our utmost thanks to all who sponsored, spoke, and attended, as you all came together to make the event outstanding.

We’d like to once again extend special thanks to Marriott Bonvoy, our Presenting Sponsor, Air Canada, our Diamond Sponsor, and our host of Platinum (Status Match and TravelCon), Gold (ALLWAYS, Chexy, and Shippsy), and Silver (Cardpointers, Mediaplanet, Rock Star Inner Circle, and TeamLTD) sponsors. We wouldn’t have been able to organize and host such a superb event without your generous support.

If you weren’t able to attend this time around, or if you did and can’t wait for the next one, be sure to join us for the next edition of The Travel Summit in Fall 2025. 

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