It was 7 years ago when I came across ICT. I will never forget Robert answering all of my questions and inviting me to "test them out". If we were a good fit together, then great. Yes, it's been a good fit. It's so great to be with a host that really fights for their advisors and truly tries to keep everything moving forward for all of us. Even with the changes in the consortium, it wasn't just what was good for them but for all of us. And what a great move it has been. With the changes in this industry, especially with the pandemic, ICT was awesome with keeping that connection with us and our suppliers throughout. This has been so beneficial in keeping good relationships and establishing new ones. I truly enjoy being with my ICT family. And to top it off, I have the best mentor within ICT. The pairing of me and Sharon, has really been awesome. She keeps me grounded through her experience and I show her some of the new ways to do things. It's an amazing friendship. And of course, I cannot leave out Sherrie, Leland and Marc, just to name a few, who all had a hand in giving me advice and guidance as I started this journey. It sounds like I'm giving thanks for an award, doesn't it? lol
But I absolutely love my ICT family!!!
I have been in this business for 26 years, starting as a front line storefront leisure agent, then as a corporate agent, then a corporate agency manager and finally landing with ICT and establishing my own business in 2003. I started with ICT and here I have remained for 19 years and counting. They are fair, honest and loyal and I have never felt like I was not valued or respected. Rather more like I was part of a close knit group of good friends all working together. Their commission splits are extremely fair and I have never had any problem reaching anyone for assistance on any day of the week. Highly recommend if you don't want to be lost in a crowd..:-).
I research host agencies for a looong time. My criteria included consortia, leads, costs, sales quotas, training, access to host owners/managers, Sabre access, and commission split.
I decided my preferred consortia were Signature and Ensemble. Lead became a "no" once I understood tat those leads may pay less commission and the customers would not be my customer. I am re-entering the travel industry after a couple of decades of doing little travel work. So - I am not a newbie, but will need some hand-holding and encouragement. When I joined ICT, I was still working a fun-time job and knew I would have little to no sales for months.
I chose ICT because the cost to get started was low. The financial outlay was very small - and no monthly fees. ICT does not have a monthly, quarterly, or yearly sales quota. That was one of my main questions to Robert before I joined.
The commission split is lower than I would prefer, but until I am booking $1M+ in sales, I am fine with the split. If I want to increase my commission, I need to look at preferred suppliers for ICT and Ensemble that provide a higher commission percentage. Sabre is also an option at ICT.
ICT is a FAMILY RUN business. Any question I have is answered by Robert, the head of the agency. If I have concerns, he is a phone call away to discuss my question. ICT has a Facebook group where agents post questions or concerns. Half the time, Robert also answers these questions. The other agents at ICT are soooooo helpful. They answer questions, give suggestions, will assist other agents when needed. They have all become family.
ICT is the perfect host for someone who wants to run his or her agency as they see fit. ICT will not hold your hand. But ICT will help and provide guidance. So for a brand new agent, ICT may not be a fit unless that new agent is making sure he or she is learning from other people/teachers in the industry.
Being on your own per se can be disconcerting. But if you reach out, ICT is there to assist.
As a business owner, I appreciate having the ability to run my business without having parameters the host agency requires. I can create my own website. Commissions are paid on time. Plus, I am now part of a new family on whom I can and do depend. ICT is an ideal host for me.
New Agents - if you are willing to be courageous and put yourself out there, we are here to help you. And we believe in you. You will feel that camaraderie here.
Having been with another host in the early years of my venture, I found that access to special events, features, programs, and training were primarily limited to the host agency directly and no access to any Consortia programs (even though they were available to us according to the Consortia). Since transferring to ICT at the beginning of 2021 I have gained access to more information and training programs than I had previously experienced in the 5 years with my previous host. With ICT I manage my own back office operations and can easily modify every portion of a vacation package and bookings without having to submit forms, wait for responses, verify changes, wait for final documents, and then get them sent to my client; I can do all of it in one session that takes mere minutes to handle. My previous host was also a major brick & mortar and, even though the contract indicated that our clients were ours and would not be marketed to, they would market to our clients directly in an effort to maintain their database for their own benefit. Having been a "client" of my previous host through my own travels, I still get marketing from them to this day. The family at ICT, and they are truly family, are so much more supportive and enjoyable to work with and I plan on maintaining this relationship as long as possible. ICT has so much to offer, it is worth giving them a very serious look and jumping into the pool with the rest of us.
I've been in this business for 30 years, with the last 20 as an at-home agent affiliated with Incentive Connection Travel. I wouldn't have stayed with them for 20 years if I hadn't received great help from this family-run business. There is someone available 24/7 for emergencies and while all situations cannot be rectified, they always do whatever they can to help. And I've always been made to feel valued as a travel agent even when my commission level was very low (like 2020 when all I did was cancel and rebook for 2022 travel). When I expressed this concern to Robert, his reply was, "We'll never terminate you--you're part of our family". That's WHY I remain with ICT. They know I'm transitioning to retirement, but no ultimatums have been given--only help in finding a good agent to pass along my long-time clients. I cannot imagine a host agency being easier to work with.
I have been with Incentive Connection Travel for about 13 years. When I started I was brand new to the industry. At that time, I didn't know if this was something I was going to be able to continue to do or not and I didn't have a ton of money to invest. I researched a fair amount of hosts before I chose ICT. Many of the other hosts require more investment from you to start or quotas you have to meet in order to stay and use their services. That wasn't something I wanted to get into and ICT wasn't that. They clearly tell you that in their sign-up package. They have a minimal start up/ yearly cost. They don't have quotas for their agents to meet. This is your business and they are there to help you, but they do not run or tell you how to run your business. You do that. When you join ICT you have access to suppliers and products that you most certainly wouldn't on you own. You book through their suppliers and they make it very easy for you to get paid every month. Nobody has ever pressured me about my sales and I appreciate that since I'm not a big producer. If I am making anything big or small that's a win for both of us. If there is ever a question about a supplier commission they've always been on top of it for me. They and their network of agents that work for them will always give you help if you need it. Every time I have had a question they have always helped me out. I appreciate ICT. It really has worked well for me over the years and I would recommend them to any agent new or experienced.
incentive Connection Travel is the best! They are always there if you need them, and let you run your business on your own, no matter how large or small. The agents with ICT would not choose anyone else.
I wrote a review in 2013 and I am writing another as I am still with Incentive Connection Travel. It saddens me to read some of the negative reviews as this is just NOT ICT. I find it hard to believe they are really referring to the same company. Everyone at this agency is helpful, capable, caring and available. As I previously wrote, they don’t interfere with your business and we do what we want and we do it how we want. They require very little from us, which includes obtaining signed insurance waivers from our clients should they decline to purchase travel protection along with our bookings and proof of clients payments. Commissions are happily paid in a timely manner. Emails with questions or concerns are answered immediately. They constantly work with vendors to enhance our potential earnings and education. ICT is family run and they are a wonderful family. Having them as my host agency is the best business decision I have ever made. I love them and that’s all there is to it.
June 20, 2013
I have been in business for 20 years and I am with Incentive Connection because they purchased my previous host agency. I STAY with them because they are wonderful to work with and they pay superbly. I have never had anything held or not paid and I never have to call a vendor to see why I didn't get paid. ICT trusts their agents and they have few requirements except that you do the small amount of paperwork they need and that you do it in a timely manner. Also, they only solicit experienced agents. In fact you won't hear from them much unless you didn't send in paperwork or they need something from you. They do, however, allow their agents to have sub-agents so if you want to train them until they can go out on their own, that is fine with ICT. They also have a good website with a myriad of training videos, webinars and such to help you. They try to have conventions every 2-3 years and these are just wonderful--full of vendor sessions and one on one meetings with them and more. They also have a half day session where all of the agents get together and have a question and answer session and some of the top selling agents will share the secrets of their successes. They have these conventions at beautiful resorts and a little bird told me they may be having one onboard a ship next time. They have no fees but they do insist that you purchase the E & O insurance through them. You have the opportunity to be invited to many fams and Seminars at Sea. They pay up to 80% commission split and we get the top commissions in the industry. ICT is like my second family and I wouldn't think of going anywhere else.
I really wanted to support this business! I was quite pleasantly surprised to find an agency in my home state of Arizona that I thought I could work with.
Unfortunately, everything ended as quickly as it began. I sent the IC package over and that’s where the problems began. They were not even able to recognize that I had sent PDF documents and not JPEG/PNG files. After making every attempt on my end to rectify the situation, still nothing! That’s extremely scary starting off a professional relationship and the people I am trying to work with are unable to open up simple files. I even sent a screenshot to prove the docs were in PDF from.
From there, it went downhill very quickly. I was repeatedly asked to send legible docs as PDF and then asked “what does your business do?” ... OK?!? Travel?!?
Then, I assumed that they were able to open the IC agreement and was then asked “if you are already an established tour operator, what do you need us for?” ... OK?!? I saw nothing on the website that prohibits you from being established in the travel industry in order to work with them ... but ok?!?
Then I mentioned that I needed access to book international flights for my clients. The response ... “I am afraid we will not be a good match for you. Airline ticketing is not our strong suit, there are other host agencies which may be a better fit for you. Good luck.”
Priceless. The website has an entire agreement and background check process in order to initiate access to book flights .. yet this is not something that is their strong suit? So ... I guess then I don’t understand why there is an agreement, with a background check and $25/mo charge?
Oh well. Not for me! Moving on ... I wish them the best!! Sometimes business relationships don’t work out!!
I'm not currently affiliated with ITC, but I'm going to do it. A few days ago I decided to communicate with them, and to my surprise, they answered each of my questions. That motivated me and gave me great confidence. I work for an airline and I know many people who are dedicated to this business, and it is oneself who sets the goals of how much and how far it can go ... I hope to be part of the family soon
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