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Top Review

November 30, 2022
A passion project in retirement that turned into a thriving business: Two reasons why and the how: First, a little background: After twenty years of trading risk arbitrage and equity derivatives in downtown manhattan, the time had come for chapter two, or no chapter at all; the latter option was not appealing. My dad said, "what about being a travel advisor? You love to travel, have a great client list and have been to +60 countries. We use an advisor and it makes all the difference in the world?" I love the idea, but where do you begin? With Wall Street clientele, the appeal of Virtuoso as the luxury leader in travel helped me narrow my search for a host agency on this very site. The other requirement was a real education; only GTN had both. The year-long program was vital to my success. One could launch without the education on the back of my extensive travel and business experience, but aren't your odds of success drastically higher if you are a true expert? Doesn't that take immersion and mentorship? Would I have done more damage to my budding travel reputation with the finance clients I hoped to convert to travel clients had I not? Would I get more than one chance from those clients? Fast forward to December 2021, I am in GTN's top producers club (top 30) in my first full year of business! I am invited to the Virtuoso ultraluxe community, attended Belmond's signature Bellini event for 10 USA advisors in Sicily and was on a top producer retreat with GTN. Without education, it would not have unfolded this way and certainly not this quickly. The second reason is: In real estate, the most valuable metric is location, location, location, but at a host agency, it is culture, culture, culture. The collaboration and support amongst advisors in our community is the silver bullet and goes hand in hand with the educational foundation of GTN. Imagine how much the collective mindshare benefits our clients. I was not expecting instant responses to questions or requests for advice yet opening up the browser to 7 responses in thirty minutes is common. It's another level of vetting and advocacy, but it only happens if the culture is there. We are not competing like local real estate agents who might compete for a listing in town. Our clients are worldwide, an enviable difference, and it means we are not competing so let's help each other win. We share tips, insights and experiences on our internal system in discussion groups that pale in comparison to snarky online forums. We travel together, 14 GTN advisors and I are just back from 12 days in Tanzania, and as a result, we grow together. It's made all the difference in professional growth inspired by culture and education. What more can you ask for?
June 25, 2023

After more than 20 years in the oil and gas industry, making the transition to the travel industry was an intimidating prospect. However, Gifted Travel Network (GTN) has proven to be the ideal partner in this journey. The most appealing part of GTN was that the owners, like me, did not come from a background of travel or hospitality, but from corporate America. This shared background made the transition smoother and more relatable, as they understood my journey and the unique challenges I faced.

What I appreciate most about GTN is that they don't just teach you how to sell travel; they provide a veritable mini-MBA on how to run your own travel agency. The knowledge and expertise that GTN provided have been invaluable, and I've learned more in the past five years than I did in two decades in the corporate world. While it's been challenging and required more hours than my previous job, it's also been more rewarding because it's something I am truly passionate about.

Over the past five years, I've leveraged GTN's platform to transform Fresi Travels from a casual hobby into a thriving LLC. We've organized hundreds of travel experiences, marrying our knowledge of destinations with the unique tastes and desires of our clients to create unforgettable trips. I initially thought I knew how to travel, but GTN showed me the vast and varied ways to explore the world, reinforcing my belief that everyone needs a travel advisor.

The support from GTN has been extraordinary. Despite my well-traveled background, starting an agency to support others was a whole different ballgame. GTN has been there every step of the way, providing the support and expertise I needed to succeed. I'm now running a boutique travel advisory company, leveraging my 30-plus years of travel experience and the skills I gained in corporate America to provide the highest level of service to our clients.

But more than that, GTN fostered a sense of community that I hadn't expected. We are not competitors; we are a collective, working together to ensure we all succeed. This collaborative environment has been a boon, with fellow advisors readily sharing their expertise and experiences.

If you're considering making a career change into travel planning or looking to start your own travel agency, I can't recommend GTN enough. Their understanding, support, and expertise are unparalleled, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with them.

Host Agency Response
June 29, 2023

Hi Louis!

It's inspiring to hear how Gifted Travel Network (GTN) has been the perfect partner for your transition from the oil and gas industry to the travel industry. The Travel MBA approach to running a travel agency has provided you with invaluable knowledge and expertise, and we love hearing that!

Thanks for sharing that with GTN's support, you've been able to transform your hobby into a thriving boutique travel advisory company, and that our amazing sense of community has been an unexpected bonus. Your strong recommendation for GTN is a testament to our dedication to understanding, supporting, and sharing our expertise in travel advisors both new to industry and experienced advisors!

We can't wait to see you continue to grow and flourish!

May 24, 2023

I did a ton of research before choosing a host agency with whom to start my new business, including talking to smaller shops willing to take on Independent agents. I really do not think there is a better host agency for people new to the business. Between the Travel MBA program and the support from mentors, access to suppliers, and access to exclusive partner training, GTN gives you all the tools you need to be successful. They've taught me that booking travel is only 50% of the job and helped me hone in on branding and tone. GTN is a relatively new company at 10 years old. While sometimes we need to be quick to adapt to changes, the benefit of a younger company is that they are SO open to feedback and ACTUALLY EXECUTE on the changes. The Travel MBA program was fabulous when I entered it two years ago, and now seeing it two years later, I cannot imagine a better program out there.

The leaders are inspiring and engaging and I'm proud to be connected to a company with a strong female executive team. Coming from the corporate world, this is so refreshing and inspiring. You'll be in good hands here. The initial program can be an investment, but I have no doubt that it has already paid for itself.

Host Agency Response
June 6, 2023

HI Meghann!

Thank you so much for sharing your testimonial! We're thrilled to hear about your positive experience with GTN. I love that you did thorough research before making your decision and found that GTN is the ideal fit for you!

At GTN, we understand that success in this industry requires more than just booking travel. That's why we're dedicated to providing our agents with comprehensive support and the necessary tools to thrive. We're delighted to hear that our Travel MBA program, mentorship, access to suppliers, and exclusive partner training have been instrumental in your success. It's true, branding and tone play a crucial role in the travel business, and we're glad we could help you hone in on those aspects.

We're delighted that our Travel MBA program exceeded your expectations, both when you joined and now. Your satisfaction reinforces our belief that it's one of the best programs available. Our leaders are indeed inspiring and engaging, and we're proud to have a strong female executive team that sets an example in the industry. We understand the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive environment.

We understand that the initial investment in our program may seem significant, but it's rewarding to hear that it has already paid for itself. We believe that the value and opportunities provided by GTN are worth every penny.

Thank you for choosing GTN as your host agency, and we're excited to continue supporting you in your business journey. Here's to watching and celebrating your continued success!

April 12, 2023
Updated Review

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. They provide me with access to a plethora of resources from video training on how to run a business, to introductions to BDMs, to connecting me with peer groups, to one-on-one mentoring calls where I can ask very specific questions, 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.)

Host Agency Response
May 8, 2023

Stacey,

I couldn't agree more with your testimonial about Gifted Travel Network! We strive to make GTN a host agency that lives up to its name. The invaluable resources, training, to the one-on-one mentoring calls, are just a part of what takes GTN as a host agency, to the next level.

GTN is commitment to creating a positive, supportive community that everyone is a part of! Rising tides lift all boats and we love having you be an important part of that community that encourages and supports one another. We love having you and Fred as a part of GTN!

Here's to continued success and friendships!

April 12, 2021
Previous Review

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.)

Host Agency Response
April 12, 2021

Stacey,
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.

April 9, 2023

As a new to the industry travel advisor, I made the best choice in joining Gifted Travel Network (GTN) as my host agency. I cannot express enough how happy I am with the collaboration found within the community, and the support and training provided by the mentors in the TMBA program.

From the very first day of the Jumpstart - a 3 day in person training at the GTN Headquarters - I knew I was in the right place. The three day training focused not only on how to sell travel, but how to run a business and be a successful entrepreneur. There are so many skills needed to be a profitable business owner - financial planning, sales, brand development, time management, marketing, networking and more. GTN provides the training needed to tackle all of these elements and is there to support you on every step of your entrepreneurial journey.

In addition to the stellar training, GTN has strong relationships within the industry through their Preferred Partners and the extensive Virtuoso network, and THE BEST COMMUNITY of Advisors. I can’t compare to other host agencies, but I can say the environment is the most collaborative and supportive I’ve experienced. Everyone in the network is there to help and support each other. There is no competition, only a “rising tide lifts all boats” atmosphere. It is inspiring. I am so happy to be a part of this network.

Host Agency Response
May 8, 2023

Hi Stacie!

It's wonderful to hear that you feel like you've found the right fit with GTN and that you've received valuable training and support through their programs. Starting a new career can be challenging, but having the right resources and people to guide you can make all the difference.

You are wrapped in a system of support, continued education, incredible partners, and a community like no other! We love how involved you are are- you are the best!

We can't wait to celebrate your continued successes!

April 5, 2023

After I decided I wanted to become a travel advisor I knew I needed more than the basic training of, this is how you book a trip. A love of travel and extensive travel doesn't prepare you to run your own business successfully. I come from a healthcare background. Some skills are transferable and other ideas and concepts are brand new. After months of research and talking to an advisor who went through the Travel MBA program, I knew Gifted Travel Network's Travel MBA program was the best program for me. The 3 day in-person jumpstart at the beginning of the program was amazing! I knew instantly I made the right decision. I was surrounded by travel professional who had once been in my shoes and gone on to have successful careers as travel advisors and were now teaching and mentoring new advisors. Building relationships in person was important and makes the learning process a lot easier once I was home and on my own. The support and educational opportunities I receive through private Facebook forums, Zoom presentations, other advisors and vendor partnerships is awesome. It's almost overwhelming in the best possible way! I'm less than 6 months into my new journey but the support and education provided by GTN gives me the confidence to do the scary, hard things and build a successful travel business.

Host Agency Response
May 8, 2023

Brianna,

We are so excited you decided to become a travel advisor. But we are thrilled you joined the Travel MBA program!

I'm glad to hear that the in-person jumpstart was a positive experience for you and that you were able to build relationships with other travel professionals. Having a support network is crucial when starting a new business, and you have found a great community to be a part of.

The educational opportunities and vendor partnerships provided by GTN are just part of the valuable resources GTN provides to help you continue to grow and improve your business. Our amazing community rounds out the best of the best in the industry and great support 24/7 365 days a year!

I wish you all the best on your journey as a travel advisor and hope that you continue to find amazing successes.

April 4, 2023
Verified Review

I have been with GTN for several years now. As a new agent looking for training and support I find GTN very welcoming and informative. After going through their Travel MBA program I feel very well equipped to be successful in my business. The only downside I see is that they are still very East Coast-centric as their support hours are based upon EST.

Host Agency Response
May 8, 2023

Hi Lisa!

On behalf of GTN, I want to express our sincere gratitude for your kind words and appreciation. We are thrilled to hear that you have had a positive experience with GTN and that our Travel MBA program has equipped you with the tools and knowledge necessary to succeed in your business.

We understand your concern about our support hours being based on EST, and we want you to know that we are continuously working to improve our services and expand our reach across different time zones. We appreciate your feedback, and we will continue to do our best to accommodate our advisors' needs to the best of our abilities.

Thank you again for choosing GTN as your travel agency partner. We value your loyalty and trust, and we look forward to celebrating your continued successes!

March 25, 2023
Updated Review
Verified Review

I highly recommend Gifted Travel Network as a host agency if your needs include a vibrant community of like-minded professionals, a well-rounded network of preferred suppliers, a member of the premier consortia in the world, Virtuoso, and cutting-edge support for your entrepreneurial journey. There is no shortage of professional development and opportunities to meet our suppliers. I've been with GTN for 8 years and I have gained lifelong friends, professional satisfaction and a growing business where the sky is the limit.

Host Agency Response
May 8, 2023

Dear Celeste,

Thank you for your recommendation of Gifted Travel Network as a host agency. It's great to hear that GTN offers a supportive and engaging community of professionals, a diverse network of preferred suppliers, and membership in the renowned Virtuoso consortia. It's also wonderful to know that GTN provides cutting-edge support and ample opportunities for professional growth and supplier engagement.

Your personal experience of being with GTN for 8 years and gaining lifelong friends, professional satisfaction, and a thriving business is a testament to the value that GTN offers to its members. Thank you for sharing your positive experience with us!

April 9, 2020
Previous Review

This is not my first review for GTN as I've been with them for almost 5 years. I thought it was important to leave another review because given the times we are in, most of us are craving direction, great leadership and positivity. I am grateful for many things in my life but as far as my travel business goes, the one constant is how grateful I am to be an Independent Travel Advisor with Gifted Travel Network. When times are tough, the real leaders rise and this host agency hasn't skipped a beat. The team seems to be able to sense what we advisors need and are so skilled at keeping the focus on being positive. Being an entrepreneur isn't easy. Having a team of caring folks, deeply connected and knowledgeable in this ever changing industry has been inspiring for me. GTN has lead me to pivot my business when the time calls for it and gives solid support which has been so valuable to me. The membership in Virtuoso has also opened doors for me that has been pleasantly welcome. GTN is all encompassing and gives me what I need to fuel my business. GTN is home for me and I hope you seriously consider what GTN has to offer you for your business.

February 20, 2023

You know when you know.

I spent several years searching for a new host agency, the ideal fit. I just wasn’t finding the perfect solution and didn’t really need to make a change but knew there was more out there. Towards the end of my search I met 3 agents at 3 different events, each of whom impressed me with their professionalism and enthusiasm for their host agency. The common denominator? Gifted Travel Network. After a few calls with GTN’s leadership team there was no turning back and I signed up right away.

While payout percentage and commission overrides are great, what makes GTN shine is the community focus. There are umpteen opportunities to connect with others and advisors are strongly encouraged to do so. GTN leadership understands we are each individual business owners and excels at providing the tools we need to manage our businesses. It’s no coincidence that I’ve had my best sales historically since joining GTN. I have renewed passion and energy for my business and attribute this all to my GTN family.

Host Agency Response
February 23, 2023

Beth,
This makes my heart sing- you've found the secret sauce that makes GTN so special. Our Exec staff has often said that advisors come for the content but stay for the community, and you have confirmed that statement. We have wonderful commissions, (up to 100%), partners relationships that are amazing, but our community is positive, uplifting, and as you've found- energizing! It's the perfect combination for success, longevity and joy...

We are so glad to have you at GTN!

February 17, 2023

I found Gifted on HAR in 2021, and is has been one of the best experiences of my life so far! Attending the new Jumpstart session of the Travel MBA program in October 2022 made all the difference for me. Being there in person I was able to connect with the facilitators (Amy R. and Shannon C.) and my cohort in a way that truly surprised me! The training was thorough and we got to interact with the amazing office staff who all support the GTN advisors. When I left, I felt very prepared and confident to start my own business. After Jumpstart, we had cohort exclusive calls weekly where our mentor provided more detailed training needed to become a successful travel advisor. These calls along with the weekly trainings, partner connections and all-network meetings really provide the support and community I was seeking in a host agency. Gifted Travel Network is truly a community of the most talented travel advisors and luxury travel educators and I am so thankful and grateful to be part of such a wonderful team!

Host Agency Response
February 23, 2023

YAY Jessica! We are absolutely thrilled that you found us and joined our October cohort. It's hard to explain the Jumpstart - it goes so beyond the education and logistics: it's the connections with the staff, our fabulous partners, and the bonds that are created with the other cohort members! The best part is that it doesn't end at the Jumpstart, it continues with your coaches and the rest of the Travel MBA-ers and the entire network. The support never ends...

You are well on your way to a successful business and it's so much fun to celebrate your wins. You are amazing and I can't wait to see where your continued successes take you!

January 18, 2023

I had a long corporate career as an Executive in the Food & Beverage industry and when I decided a career change to the travel industry could be the right move for me, I did a LOT of research. Ironically, I found Gifted Travel Network (GTN) on Host Agency Reviews (HAR). I read every review and wondered if the things other advisors said were really true. I trusted my intuition and took the leap. Let me tell you… our Executive Team is brilliant, and they each bring complementary skillsets. Those skillsets have built a company that is collaborative, forward-thinking, and business savvy. They understand if you own a business you need to know how to run a business. We are not just transactional, sitting behind computers booking trips. They teach us how to build our business with everything from Marketing, Relationship Building, Branding, Booking and Finances to Social Media. They are selective in ensuring we have preferred suppliers who are the right fit for our businesses, and they cultivate those relationships. They reinforce we need to come from a place of ‘giving’ to our clients. They also understand to be successful in travel you need to have the right mindset (and they help coach you through the tough times when you need it). Most importantly, it’s not just words…they are consistent and lead by example.

And although their Travel MBA program is very prescriptive it doesn’t do your work, it doesn’t create your brand and it doesn’t magically give you clients. Nor would I want it to. It is through your own hard work and uniqueness. What you end up with is a brand you believe in with clients who appreciate the value you bring to them.

What I value the most of being an Independent Contractor (IC) for GTN are the relationships with other IC’s. Initially it was the strong bond with the other individuals in my Travel MBA Cohort and now with others (including other IC’s, GTN Staff, Suppliers…) who I continue to build relationships with in-person, on Zoom meetings and our online interactive platform. There is no competition…only collaboration. (And we have some fun in the process!).

This can be a tough industry, but the risk is worth the reward!

Host Agency Response
January 18, 2023

Deana, thank you so much for your thoughtful review and insight on the Travel MBA program. We love that you see the brilliances of our executive team- they are amazing on how they mesh and created this incredible company. They lead by example and have fostered an environment that is business minded, relationship based, and most definitely forward thinking! You are right, the Travel MBA program gives you everything you need to be successful, but the hard work still comes from you...

And boy, have you worked hard! We are so impressed with how you have transitioned from the corporate world and how you have fully embraced and immersed yourself in everything travel and Travel MBA. Your successes have been nothing short of incredible and we can't wait to celebrate your business growth. We are so happy you chose GTN!

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