With mentoring programs among host agencies becoming an increasingly hot topic, Montrose Travel is reporting that it differentiates itself with a unique approach to nurturing new entrants to the travel industry.
For the long-time host agency, their mentoring program has been in place from the get-go and has been designed to give affiliates a depth of support that Montrose believes is otherwise unseen in the travel industry.
"We have mentored and coached both new and experienced agents from the inception of our hosting program," says MTravel.com President Andi Mysza. "Its an intrinsic part of our services and is included in the cost of the program we don't charge extra for it." Mysza noted that though the concept of mentoring programs sounds great on paper, the reality is that it can have its flaws.
"Standard mentoring programs pair up two agents to work together, but this can be faulty on multiple levels: experienced agents can be too busy to be readily available to a new agent, the lack of quality control can result in inconsistent training and every mentor is not an expert in all areas. You can be paired with someone who may be an expert in groups but not corporate, Hawaii, but not Europe and so on," said Mysza, a veteran host agency manager.
Montrose notes its hybrid business model lends itself to a best of both worlds approach, combining the practical expertise of their 50 plus year retail experience with the high-touch support of their host agency Business Development Team.
As a retail travel agency, Montrose Travel says it employs numerous experienced frontline, in-house agents who are skilled in all segments of the market and worldwide destinations. "Affiliates of the hosting program first have personal access to the hosts Business Development Team, and then can be individually connected with a frontline expert to coach them through their particular situations and train them as needed. We are in the enviable position to be able to provide valuable guidance on suppliers, properties, ships, and more due to our retail/host structure in addition to advice on operating a travel business, marketing, and what works and what does not. We live it every day on the front line, " said Mysza.
Montrose says it does recognize the need and desire of independent travel professionals to network with one another and provides outlets for that as well. They host an annual conference which receives high marks, private Facebook Community Discussion groups, exclusive host-only FAMs and opportunities to gather at industry events.
"This multi-faceted approach to mentoring has sealed the gap that can often develop for hosts seeking to support both new and experienced independent travel professionals. As mentors, were able to combine the intimate hand-holding a new agent needs as well as the complex industry knowledge that an experienced agent expects when selecting a host partner," said Mysza. "Its a benefit distinct to Montrose Travel that has proven effective for years."
Established in 1956, family-owned Montrose Travel has hosted independent travel professionals for over 40 years. The host has over 500 independent contractors