I joined GTN in 2020 after a year of working at a brick and mortar agency. Oddly enough, I had met the amazing Lisa Fletcher at a VCTA (Virtuoso Certified Travel Advisor) retreat the previous year. Little did I know in just under a year Lisa would become my Mentor for GTN’s MBA Program!
GTN’s MBA Program doesn’t just teach new advisors how to book travel, they teach you how to create and grow a sustainable business. The program has self-paced sections that discuss anything from E&O insurance to terms & conditions, how to attract clients, planning fees, website design, logo design, newsletters (Ezines) and so much more amazing information. During your time in the program you have a nail your niche call with the one of the founders to help you hone your brand voice and target audience. From there you begin logo design process and bringing your brand to life. The program also offers 2 weekly calls that allows you to ask questions about GTN, MBA program, a client situation, pretty much anything! Plus you have a MBA FB group to ask anything or everything!
I can’t recommended GTN and their MBA program enough to new or experienced advisors. I promise if you join GTN it will be one of the best decisions you ever make!
MacKenzie, You are/were such the model MBAer! I only say were because we celebrated your "graduation" back in February. We are thrilled to have you enrolled in our TBU Boost program. Congrats on all your successes with your business and being featured with ASTA'S Young Professional Society Spotlight!
Whoa! This host has it all. Everybody using the latest tools and technology? Check. Inspirational, "touchy-feely" support? Check. Hardcore, serious business practices? Check. A group of collaborative, experienced, HELPFUL, sharing, and seasoned professionals? Check. New, innovative, and cutting-edge ideas and practices? Check. The best in the industry? Check. Well-rounded support from destination information to marketing tools and client relationships? Check. Down-to-earth, fun, and uplifting people from the newbies to senior management? Check. What you won't find is competition and attitude. And you might be pushed out of your comfort zone to be the absolute best travel advisor you ever imagined :) I am thrilled to be part of the GTN family!
Thank you so much for the complimentary review. You are so right, community over competition is our mantra at Gifted Travel Network. We are so thankful for all your contributions as well, we are truly lucky to have such wonderful advisors like yourself.
I can only echo what so many have written before me about GTN's professionalism, passion for supporting their agents, and innovation in the host industry world. Rather than repeat all the well-deserved positive comments all over again, I’d like to add some more details for agents thinking about joining GTN if they are already experienced and they are looking to join without first going through the Travel MBA program, which is what I did.
Before the pandemic I focused a lot on very customized FITs, designing personalized itineraries anywhere from Europe to the Galapagos. I knew that I was missing out on a smarter way to work and often felt very isolated from others in my previous host agency because I was designing curated experiences and didn’t have a lot of colleagues who focused on that type of travel. Joining GTN has opened the doors for me for so many new partnerships - I’m able to connect with fantastic DMCS and with incredible Representation Companies that introduce me to lovely hotels I could have never found on my own. GTN understands that agents specialized in FITs often are looking “beyond” the average cookie cutter tour operator and want true in-country expert help. I want my host agency to elevate my client experience, not impede it.
I also previously did some large group cruises for incentive travel, and I never once really connected with my BDM during this experience with my previous host agency. Imagine, selling 100 cabins on a cruise and not thinking to build a relationship with your BDM. :) In contrast, after joining GTN, I had a quick question and reached out to a different cruise line BDM. The BDM picked up the phone and gave me a call and immediately not only answered my questions but gave me tools and resources to close the sale. She immediately knew who GTN was when I emailed her. That’s when I first got an inkling, “oh… GTN really means it when they talk about the power of relationships.” Then I knew that GTN had the missing piece to the puzzle I’d been looking for.
Even though I didn’t have to pay for the extra education component of Travel MBA (seriously though, I know I would have benefited enormously from it! I’m sure I’d be even more ahead of the game right now!), I watched as many free videos as I could and listened to as many mentor calls as possible and tried to fill in the gaps in my formal training as much as possible. With your GTN membership you get access to all their previously recorded vendor calls, the GIFTE mentoring calls, special business skills presentations, and more. The more you listen and learn the more you will start to see what small habits in your business could be holding you back, or what foundation steps you missed that you should really focus on now to make your business more successful. It’s never too late to learn new skills or to pivot your business strategy. GTN doesn’t just care about your sales numbers, they care about your development as a true entrepreneur. Thanks in a large part to GTN’s encouragement and resources, I spent the Pause of 2020 focusing on building my email list and I went from 130 subscribers in May 2020 to over 2700 subscribers in June 2021. This is just one tangible example of how I feel GTN helped me grow as a business owner even with my limited number of new bookings during the pandemic.
Simply being part of GTN has taught me how to narrow down my ideal client, how to start charge service fees, how to let my expertise shine on social media, and how to stand firm when I know a client and I are not the right match. It’s not necessarily that they have a class on all of this specifically - it’s that GTN practices what they preach when it comes to professionalism, marketing, and relationship building. It’s almost impossible not to absorb some of their brilliant attitude just by osmosis even if you join with a great book of business already.
In a year when I lost almost 90% of my income and my sales overnight and when it was really hard to find the light sometimes, getting to start over by joining GTN and setting up so many of my processes to prepare for the comeback has been one of the best things I could have done. I’ve used The Pause to learn from the other incredible agents in GTN, to listen to pre-recorded trainings, and to keep building relationships with BDMS and DMCs. I’m excited to see what the next year brings and I know that GTN will only continue to grow in their brilliance.
We are thrilled and thankful to have you as part of our family at Gifted Travel Network. We love how you have engaged with our community of advisors. Thank you for sharing that your numbers on your subscriber list jumped from 130 to over 2700, that is AMAZING. It just goes to show you how collaborative our community is within GTN. We value your added contributions as well, thank you so much for trusting us and joining our family of wonderful advisors.
Gratitude is what I feel towards GTN every day when I wake up.
When I started in travel almost 25 years ago there were only brick and mortar agencies on your neighborhood street corners. If you wanted to be and Advisor you would walk in and apply and hopefully you did your homework well enough that you had a good team to work with. With GTN I know that I have a good team to partner with.
When you first meet GTN they seem too good to be true and you may find yourself scratching your head and asking yourself what are they hiding. They can’t be this good.
But let me tell you what they are really like.
GTN is simply put the most helpful, supportive and caring organization that I have ever been associated with. The level of support that I have received, the honest and caring feedback that they give truly comes from a heart of service to you and your brand. They want us, as business owners, to succeed spectacularly. They pour their hearts and souls into GTN to make us and our business the best it and we can be. This is, in my opinion, unparalleled in the industry.
If you are looking for a new home or a place to start your business you cannot do better than GTN.
We look forward to seeing you grow with your new "family" here at Gifted Travel Network. It is advisors like you that make us shine so bright, so we like to return the favor!!!! Thank you for the kind words.
Gifted Travel Network! I could write about 10 paragraphs on everything amazing about this host agency. I'll try to keep it short and highlight the top 3 reasons why GTN is the absolute best host for me and so many other travel advisors.
1. My initial reasoning for joining GTN was because I knew (through my own research and vetting processes) that GTN had what I was lacking and needed. Let's face it, it's awesome working with clients and creating great travel experiences, that's the easy part! How to learn and know what it takes to put ALL the pieces in place to run a successful small business is another whole level of knowledge. Several years ago the GTN leadership team developed a thorough and extensive 12 month “TravelMBA” program for the home based travel entrepreneur. This program is multi pronged with training modules (on videos to watch over and over if needed-yes I’ve watched them multiple times to take it all in) and covering every piece of how to successfully build your travel business including your messaging, branding, marketing, work flow management systems, strong foundations for a small business and so much more. But the modules are just one piece, the mentorship program that comes along with this is what pulls the education and learning together. With weekly group coaching calls on zoom with our mentor, dedicated solely to the Travel MBA students, as well as weekly zooms from top leadership (many zooms are for all GTN advisors) on everything from Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Personal Growth and more, the learning is nonstop. And these are not just rah rah zoom calls. These calls are discussions and conversations with leadership and with multiple agents who then help each other in return as we learn for our peers and collaborate. There’s so much more to the program, but I will move on to number 2.
2.The women of this company, from the top to the bottom are brilliant, exuberant, hands on, forward thinking, genuine, positive and supportive. This in turn is exactly what all the GTN travel advisors are not only exposed to daily, but become! This is a host that encourages advisors to help other advisors and it happens! Everyday, all day long. The GTN staff and travel advisors are truly a team, with “we’re all in this together” even as we still run and own our own travel businesses. It’s truly remarkable.
3.Connections. In this industry with so many travel providers, suppliers, tour operators and such all around the world, connections are a necessity and oh does GTN have the connections and the respect of the top travel providers and suppliers in the industry. It’s good to know, if we have a problem, we are backed by a host that will help us with any supplier issue and almost always with a positive outcome for everyone.
I’m so grateful and blessed to be a part of GTN and the TravelMBA program. As Meredith Hill, one of the GTN founders states, We will find success and a life we love as a travel entrepreneur when we have freedom, fulfillment and financial satisfaction. GTN is providing the road map for me and other travel advisors to see our dreams and goals become that reality.
We are so grateful to have people like you as part of our community. You are engaged, collaborative and caring. That formula right there is setting you up for success. I remember when you and I spoke, and you were considering leaving your previous host as you knew there was a part missing. I am glad that you have found it with GTN. Sending lots of success your way!!!!
The last trip I took in 2020 was for the Book More Travel Workshop in February. I am so thankful that I took that trip! During the Workshop I was totally blown away buy the energy and the wealth of information that the folks at Gifted Travel Network Shared. During the vendor hour I spent a little bit of time chatting with Sandy Saburn about what GTN was all about and the training program they offered.
I had spent 6 years as a franchise owner. During that time I learned a lot about booking travel but nothing about how to actually run a business. After talking to Sandy at BMTW and on several calls and email exchanges I came to the realization that if I wanted to move my business forward I would have to move to GTN. It is a decision I am so glad and grateful that I made. The Travel MBA program is full of information that has helped me to actually know how to run a business and move my business in the right direction even during the pandemic.
We are so thrilled that you are on a true path to success. Having the fundamental foundation of how to run and maintain a business in travel is what our program is all about. We are so happy to have you as part of our community of terrific advisors.
Gifted Travel Network is a host agency that truly lives up to the name “host.”
They have proven over and over that they are in my corner and want to help make my agency a success. I recently had an issue with a supplier where GTN stepped in to support me and be an advocate for my clients. They provide me with access to a plethora of resources from video training on how to run a business, to connecting me with peer groups, to mentoring calls where I can ask questions, to introductions to BDMs and so much more.
However, what makes GTN stand out from other host agencies is that they have created a positive, supportive community. Even though we each own our own agency, we are not competitors. We encourage one another, give recommendations, share templates, and ideas so we are ALL successful. When I don’t know a destination or how to use some sort of booking engine, I have peers willing to help me without making me feel less-than.
I am proud to be a part of this collaborative environment where travel partners comment on the positivity they feel among us. (I like to think that we are their favorite.)
We are so lucky to have advisors like yourself as part of our community of collaborative advisors. As Sandy always says "A rising tide lifts all boats" and that is so true. It is so great to see advisors celebrating each other's successes, when a great booking is made or even a first booking. I also love it when our vendor team, Vanessa and Erica, are able to stand up and help navigate rough waters with vendors some times.
Choosing Gifted Travel Network as my host agency was the best decision I could have made for my entrepreneurial journey into the travel industry. Where GTN outshines their competition is the education and training revolve around fully supporting me and my goals as a small business owner, not theirs. Enrolling in the GTN Travel MBA program allowed me to establish the solid business foundations and processes that so many small business owners struggle with. They provide you with everything and more to set-up and succeed in the travel industry, it is up to you, the entrepreneur, to implement and lead the charge on your own path and your own time.
The way GTN stepped up in 2020 was remarkable. The leadership team is truly unique and always provided helpful insight but more importantly always stayed upbeat during even the most tumultuous of times. I could not be more lucky to have chosen GTN for my business and for me.
Katie, We couldn't be more lucky to have you in our Gifted Travel Network family, and the Travel MBA program. You are truly doing amazing job at setting up your business, Thirsty for Travel Designs. We wish you great success for you and your business.
I thank my lucky stars that I happened to sit next to Sandy Saburn, Vice-President of Sales at Gifted Travel Network, at the Virtuoso Difference event in NYC in February of 2020. Her passion for travel was clear as she told me about the Travel MBA program for those new to the industry. I have spent 25 years as an ultrasound technologist so was really looking for mentoring on how to start a successful travel business. I took the plunge in July of 2020 and have never looked back. The program is perfect for me because I can go at my own pace as I continue to work part-time. Plus I have a business partner, and she works full-time, so it takes us longer than others to move forward. The program helps you determine your message and target audience through nail your niche sessions, probably the most important step in building your business. We also get help setting up our financials, learning about suppliers, but the most emphasis is put on marketing to ensure we have a steady stream of clients. What I love most about the program is the team's positivity, drive for excellence, and innovation. Meredith, Vanessa, Jen, Lisa and Sandy put their entire hearts and souls into training us. They are individually very special and have their own niches, but together they are a force of nature! Lisa Fletcher, who runs the MBA program, has the patience of a saint, answering all our questions through scheduled mentoring calls. Just recently, GTN has designed a new program, Travel Business University, which is the next step after the Travel MBA program is completed. I am so grateful that the mentoring will continue and that I will have the GTN team helping me through all stages of my travel business. Sign up to become of member of the GTN host agency STAT. It will be one of the best decisions you ever make!
We, too, thank our lucky stars that we have so many wonderful advisors like yourself in our network. Your contributions and passion for success truly bring so much to the table for your fellow advisors. We feel very fortunate to cross paths with so many talented business owners, new and experienced. We look forward to what 2021 and beyond has in store for you and your business. Thank you for entrusting us with your future as we dive into this together.
I know I've written reviews for Gifted Travel Network before, but it bears repeating: Lisa Fletcher (mentor extraordinaire) and the Travel MBA Program is the reason I’m on the way to a very solid travel business today. I "graduated" from TMBA in May 2020, and despite the pandemic, I had solid sales thanks to a solid foundation despite the craziness of last year. 2021 is looking pretty solid, too! I wouldn’t be where I am today without her early guidance and continued guidance and support of the entire GTN team! ❤️ to them all!
We are so happy and proud to see you thrive! Lisa Fletcher, aka Momma Bear, and the whole GTN team is proud of you for sticking with it and flourishing during a challenging time. Keep it up!
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