It's coming up on a year since I signed up for the Gifted Travel Network Travel MBA program, having read some great reviews right on this site.
I'll split my review into 2 parts. Firstly the MBA program and secondly GTN as a host agent.
1. I paid what I consider now to be a very fair price for this one year program that gave me a 70/30 commission split for its length. I entered this industry from finance and had no previous experience selling travel so really needed core basic directions. The program is structured very well, with modules to work through at the pace that suits you. On top of that there is invaluable support from the staff at GTN and perhaps most importantly, a mentor, who has been amazing. The commitment to helping new members to the program does not fade at all over the entire year, and the inevitable questions and concerns are addressed quickly and efficiently.I would wholeheartedly recommend the program for those starting off in the travel industry.
2. Gifted Travel Network as a host agency is growing rapidly, but I have not noticed any slip in the level of service. Personally, I am nearly at the end of my first year and am about to go to earning 100% of my commissions. I have worked hard to get to that position, but it really feels like a have a community behind me, rather than a business. On the basics like commission payments etc. I have not encountered any problems or mistakes, and the back office of GTN is proactive in solving problems before they're really problems. At different stages in my first year, I think I have received direct help from every member of the management team at some point, as well as the great admin staff. I hope that ability to connect with the experts remains as GTN grows further, but even if it becomes more difficult, the culture of a network that helps fellow agents is so well ingrained that there will always be many sources for any help required.
I have been part of the GIFTE and TESA program since 2013. I was very new to the travel industry at this time and the information, support and guidance that I received from Meredith, Vanessa and the GIFTE community, was so life changing for me both personally and for my business.
I recently decided to use GTN as my host agency, and I am so glad that I made this decision. Working with GTN has been a wonderful experience. Everything has been so easy and fast. If I have a question, I can easily get in touch with someone and I have the information that I need right away! I love the support from the GTN forum. There is so much information that I get from other agents that are willing to share their knowledge with the group. Every week we have "shop talk" which is a call that we have with a supplier so that we can understand what the supplier offers and how we can better work with them for our clients.
I feel joining GTN and being part of the GIFTE community has been the best decision that I made for my business and will help me be successful in my entrepreneurial journey.
I joined GTN when I started in the travel industry in 2014. I feel so fortunate to have been referred to GTN by a more experienced travel consultant when I was searching for a host agency. I have no doubt that GTN's highest priority is to help me create a successful and satisfying entrepreneurial business. The amount of mentoring and support I receive from the entire GIFTE team is truly amazing, as are their accessibility and commitment to helping us develop the most effective strategies to grown our businesses.
I was a member of GTN for about 6 months before signing up for the Travel MBA program. I felt I needed to see what was behind the curtain of the travel industry before committing to the Travel MBA program and I did just that for a while. I soon realized that I needed more support to speed up the learning curve, so I signed up for the Travel MBA program. I can't imagine where I would be right now if I was still trying to do this on my own without my mentor and all of the training that is specific to the Travel MBA program. My business is growing and I am confident in what I am doing and know that I have access to the best resources, supplier relationships, and support system as part of GTN.
GTN is a group of remarkably supportive professionals and wonderful people who willingly share their immense experience and knowledge. I cannot see why anyone would choose a different host agency. I am so happy to have found this one!
With a little less than a year of experience, I believe that joining the Gifted Travel Network was the best thing I could have done! I became a part of GTN through the Travel MBA program which provides guidance and expert advice on starting your business and becoming successful in the travel industry. The Travel MBA program also provides access to a dedicated mentor who is available to assist with any questions a newbie would have in the industry. I am rating GTN 5 stars because of the knowledge I have gained, the connections I have made that they have given me access to, the accessibility of the Executive team (I didn't want to be just a number at another company), and have never had a bad experience about not receiving my commission in a timely manner.
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I want to tell you why I recommend GTN as my host agency. I have been in the travel business 18 years and I've been with another host, local to my area, for that entire time. That host was a good place to start, but there has been no sense of community within the group of outside agents. Discussion among outside agents was never promoted, and seems to have been discouraged, which always felt strange. The host president was not a big traveler, and therefore was not a good resource for destination information. The relationship between me and my previous host was always strictly business.
When I discovered the GIFTE program and then learned about the possibilities of GTN, it was like a breath of fresh air! I have benefitted a great deal from Meredith Hill, Vanessa McGovern & Jen Cochran's expertise in the training programs they offer, specifically the Making Money Selling Travel Blueprint. I took about three months to go through the Blueprint and there are still things I need to work on, even now. After learning these techniques, I now confidently charge planning fees and turn away business that does not make sense for my company. These practices, though scary at first, have definitely put more money in my pocket. It also makes me feel much better about what I do, as I am viewed by my clients as a true professional. The second part of the equation is that with GTN, I do pay a fixed monthly fee, but receiving 100% commission more than offsets that fee! GTN is a member of the Ensemble consortium, so certain types of travel produce enhanced commissions, which I always appreciate. My former host took 20% of my commission, which wasn't too bad as such rates go, but this GTN fixed-fee approach has been a very big help for me. With my membership in GTN, I keep the full commission, and the fixed monthly fee covers E&O insurance, Client Base Online services & Travel-42 - a good site for reviewing destinations and writing up proposals for clients. The calls with the staff at GTN provide so much encouragement along the way that it makes me feel like part of a community. Having the community support with both GIFTE & GTN has been very helpful to me. I never realized how "on my own" I had always been, until now!
I value the business training & the new ideas about how to operate that I have never heard from the various suppliers, since the new training is based on me and my brand & not some other company. There are some training sessions that deal with mindset, and though the intention behind that is very good, sometimes it ventures into the popular "the universe is watching out for me" philosophy. As a Christian, I know who is watching out for me, so I'll stick with that, but I do appreciate that for someone who feel defeated by life, reshaping how they think is necessary in order to be successful in this challenging travel business!
I am very happy with my move to GTN as my host agency, and with the GIFTE community! Just a few days ago my husband & I were discussing some upcoming expenses, and it was so much fun to see the look of amazement on his face when he asked how much money I had in my business account! I'm haven't reached my ultimate goal just yet, but I know I will get there. One of these days he will get to feel like a "kept man"!
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I am so happy with my decision to join Gifted Travel Network. Since I didn’t have any previous experience as a travel agent, I decided to invest in the Travel MBA program and to date I have felt that the investment is well worth it.
The mentoring and content far supersedes the price tag of the program and compared to the point of entry to getting educated on how to run a successful business in other industries + the cost of a true MBA - the price point of the Travel MBA is a bargain!
My mentor in Travel MBA, Lisa Fletcher, is so kind, responsive and always eager to help. Her knowledge, counsel and experience is greatly appreciated.
The GTN private membership forum is also a huge resource. All the members of GTN are so happy to help. Since joining just a few months ago I’ve been able to secure marketing assistance for a magazine ad from a cruise line, I've been on two luxury ship inspections and gotten endless guidance and insights...without GTN none of that would have been possible!
I know my future is very bright in travel and with the support of GTN and the Travel MBA program I know I’ve set my business up for maximum profitability and success!
Meredith, Vanessa, Jen and Sarah are outstanding professionals, extremely knowledgeable, efficient and extremely friendly.
Do not be hesitant about joining them, it was by far the best decision I made for my business!
Thank you GTN for everything!
Gifted Travel Network does give you a feeling that you are part of a family rather than just a number. This part I liked very much. They do provide a lot of education to their agents in the form of calls, webinars, etc. They do have an awesome portal for their agents. I joined the Travel MBA program, which was much like Meredith Hill's Make Money Selling Travel. I was disappointed in in the Travel MBA program, mostly due to the cost and the fact that it was much like MMSTB. I feel like I had already invested in the MMST blueprint and now I had a series of webinars that was much like the blueprint, not all, but most. They give you access to mentors and a monthly call with Meredith Hill. I am not saying that GTN is bad, it was just not for me. I would encourage a new agent to the industry to really think about the cost versus how it will affect your bottom line. Research other alternatives when you are first starting. If you don't have the money to do so, don't feel you have to. There is an excuse if you just can't afford it and don't let anyone make you feel that you can't succeed in this business if you don't have it to invest. You can so don't give up!
Thank you Karen for taking the time to give your thoughtful feedback. We appreciate your comments. I would like to address your feedback of the Travel MBA program specifically. I think it's important for those reading this review to understand that the Travel MBA program has been completely overhauled since you were in it, with many significant and effective enhancements with no increase in price. The program you are reviewing is an older version of what we offer today.
I'd also like to clarify the difference between the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint and the content in the Travel MBA program. Yes, there is some overlap. But not a lot. There are 3 modules (out of 13) in the Travel MBA program that repeat 3 modules from the MMSTB. That's all. The other 10 modules in the Travel MBA program address the topics of operations, financial planning, business start up, how to sell, and other business related topics.
Lastly, I'd like to comment on the "expense" of the program. We find tremendous value in the Travel MBA program and stand proudly behind the amount of the investment. We know the path to building a successful and sustainable business selling travel in today's world. Rather than expensive, I believe the Travel MBA program offers great value. What I think is expensive is NOT investing in your business and becoming an accidental hobbyist because you never got direction. There is no other organization within the travel industry that has this amount of aggregate marketing, sales, business development, business operations and business infrastructure wisdom. There are many programs that teach you how to sell travel .... our Travel MBA program teaches you how to sell travel PLUS follow the path to profitability. .
I am new to this industry and was referred to GTN's Travel MBA program by my mentor. After reviewing the program, I enrolled and started the weekly modules immediately. Although I was itching to get into the "fun" content, I have been bowled over by the content of the first few modules, which focus on creating a sound foundation for a new business. I have a "real" MBA, and the information as presented was more practical and helpful for staring a real business than much of the marketing curriculum in my MBA program. I am also very impressed by the accessibility and responsiveness of the GTN staffers with whom I've had contact, and the mentor I've been assigned through this program Has been incredibly helpful and encouraging. I am truly excited and energized to be part of this community and am absolutely certain that my decide to train with GTN and be hosted by them has been a very sound one.
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