Trisha Hall is the Managing Director of THOR, Inc., an international travel services company that provides products and services to the world’s leading travel providers. Over the past 14 years Trisha has held a variety of positions at THOR including Publications Manager and Marketing & Operations Manager. Trisha began her career in marketing over 20 years ago and gained additional experience in industries including business software, human resource consulting, CAD/CAM services and medical devices.
Trisha received her master’s degree in marketing from Regis University in Denver, Colo. and her bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. She has previously sat on the Business Marketing Association Board of Directors – Colorado Chapter.
Originally from Michigan, Trisha currently resides in Arvada, Colo. with her husband and two children. She enjoys the wonderful outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer including hiking and skiing. Trisha also has a love of reading and baking.
Travel Research Online (TRO): Hi, Trisha. How are you doing today?
Trisha Hall (TH): It’s another beautiful day here in Colorado, so I’m doing wonderful, thank you!
TRO: With over 20 years in marketing under your belt, you seem to be locked into a marketing career path for a reason. What are those reasons?
TH: When I first began working as a marketing coordinator out of college, I was focused on direct marketing campaigns. I would design, print, stuff and mailout flyers to solicit leads. The customer would fill out the form and fax it back to us. I remember receiving hundreds of leads from my first mailer, and how happy the sales team was with the results. From there, I was hooked. Eventually, I moved into other areas of marketing as technology and industries changed, and as my own understanding of marketing evolved. I continue to love being able to influence a response, and to bring in qualified leads based on messaging and targeting. It’s more than just helping your own company, it’s also knowing you’re helping the customer as well. It’s easy to do when you have a passion for your own products and services, which is why I’ve stuck with travel, and THOR, for so many years.
TRO: You’ve been with THOR for about 14 of those years now, in different positions along the way. What is it about working there that you enjoy?
TH: First and foremost, it’s the people that I work with. I’m surrounded by a fantastic team of people who are positive, energetic, encouraging and fun; and we all share in the common goal of being successful and happy. Many of our team have been here 10+ years, and I think it’s the culture we’ve developed that has influenced this longevity.
I also truly enjoy the work that I do. I love being able to see how my work positively affects the company, learn from the mistakes that I make, or handling the challenges that come my way. I’ve learned to go beyond my comfort zone and take on responsibilities that I never thought I would, which keeps things exciting.
TRO: When was the moment you knew that being in the travel industry was for you?
TH: I’m not sure if I really had one defining moment, but with THOR being a wholly owned subsidiary of Travelport, I’ve learned how vast the travel industry is and it intrigues me. I learn something every day about the GDS’s (Global Distribution Systems), travel agencies, suppliers and how we all work together towards giving the customer the best travel experiences. This industry has changed drastically from when I started 14 years ago, and I expect it will in the coming 14 years as well. Who wouldn’t want to be part of such a dynamic industry?
TRO: What are your favorite destinations around the world that you’ve traveled to?
TH: I’ve been very fortunate to have visited some wonderful destinations. And, while I’ve enjoyed many of the places I’ve traveled, I still hold a special place in my heart for Greece—which was my very first trip outside of North America. I went with a friend who had family that lived in a small town right on the Mediterranean called Rio. One of the days we were there, we traveled to Patras to celebrate Carnival. It was amazing.
TRO: How do you view the purpose of marketing, in terms of travel services and the advisors that are seeking these services?
TH: I view the purpose of marketing as a way to communicate why travel advisors should use our negotiated rates programs over our competitors. When marketing intangible services, such as the THOR Hotel Program, THOR Car Program and THOR Services Program, it’s important that we demonstrate the value and benefits that each of these programs brings to the travel advisors that use them. THOR’s programs are free for travel agencies and their advisors to use, so there is no risk to sign up and start booking. However, we realize we need to add more value, so in addition to discounted rates, commission and added amenities, THOR also provides the added value of customer service, promotions, networking events, contests and resources. It’s about increasing efficiencies and reducing work for our travel advisors through the great relationships that we have with our travel suppliers.
TRO: How does THOR view its relationship with travel advisors, and what should advisors know about the tools and resources you have available?
TH: I see THOR as an advocate for travel advisors. We want to provide them with an easy way to stay competitive and show value to their clients. One of the tools that we offer to travel advisors is our THOR Media Portal at media.THORtravelservices.com. This site is complimentary and provides advisors with access to a library of rich media for producing marketing materials and destination information they can send to their clients.
THOR also has an annual publication called TAO – Travel Agents Only, Supplier Program Guide. This guide lists everything from travel agent and consumer loyalty programs to supplier program details on what they offer THOR agency members. It’s a resource that was created to make sure advisors are getting the most out of their membership.
Finally, in addition to our GDS-based programs, if advisors are not using a GDS to book travel, they can use Agent Connection, A Global Booking Tool by THOR at www.THORAgentConnection.com. This tool is currently available to US-based accredited travel advisors and allows them to book hotel, car, air, cruise, activities through viator, and more in this one tool.
TRO: THOR is keeping ahead of the times in an ever-evolving industry. Can you let us in on any upcoming events that THOR is planning?
TH: THOR hosts networking events across the country and we will be hosting Meet & Greet events each quarter in 2019, along with hosting two larger THOR Access Series networking events. THOR Access Series events will be held in Denver, CO and another city soon to be announced. All of the events, locations and dates will be updated on our website at www.THORtravelservices.com/about-us/events/.
TRO: Thank you for your time, Trisha.
TH: Thank you for the opportunity!