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TPI Launches New Home-Based Mentor Program

March 31, 2009 By: George Dooley

Travel Planners International (TPI) has announced the launch of their new Mentor Program in conjunction with their entry-level travel agent training program -, according to Ken Gagliano, president of TPI. After a prospective travel agent signs up for TPI’s  online training course through, they will be assigned an experienced mentor to  provide hands on training.

“Based on our 21 years of experience, we know that a textbook will only teach you a limited amount of travel knowledge,” said Gagliano.  “In practicality, agents need real-time, hands-on training and guidance of a mentor.  We also know that the first few travel bookings can be a real challenge - even intimidating to some. As a host agency, want our agents to know that they are not alone and because of this, we have a Mentor Program.”

All mentors have at least five years of experience in the travel industry and will help their trainee every step of the way. This includes setting up their business and creating a company name, developing a marketing plan and niche market to making bookings and invoicing.
Pat Saizan, a TPI mentor comments about her experience. “The first thing I like to do is get to know why they decided to become a travel agent and what their personal interests are. I then encourage all of my agents to sit down and create a marketing plan. As part of the marketing plan, I stress the importance of creating a niche market narrowing their focus instead of trying to learn the whole travel industry at once.”

During the Mentor period, agents will be able to “Earn-While-You-Learn.” They will be able to book travel with the assistance of their mentor and earn 50 percent commission. After completion of the online training program and full completion of 10 cruise and/or tour bookings, the commission level will increase according to each individual contract.

“It’s important to dive in, research and discover the travel industry for yourself. Customer service is key to investing in your company. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. I am always brainstorming of ways to reinvent myself to appeal to the ever changing travel market,” said Pat Saizan.

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