Ready or not a new host agency, Gifted Travel Network (GTN) has been launched by the Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), an educational group for travel agents. GTN says it will be a member of Ensemble Travel Network.
GTN says it operates according to three core principles - " to nurture travel professionals’ entrepreneurial spirit, support them in a team environment, and help develop their personal brands."
“Launching GTN is a natural extension of the work we’ve done at GIFTE,” said GTN President Meredith Hill. “When we center our business around our travel professionals’ brilliance and give them the cutting-edge marketing tools to reach clients in today’s changing market, success happens. It’s an outlet to execute what we teach at GIFTE so we can be of higher service to members.”
Travel professionals have the option to join one of GTN’s three “teams.” The JV Team is designed for travel consultants who are returning to travel after an absence, revamping their niche, or are new to the travel industry all together, GTN reports.
JV Team members go through an extensive training and mentoring program that establishes travel industry fundamentals and marketing techniques (program to launch in 2014). The Varsity Team includes a wide range of travel professionals encompassing the spectrum of market specialties and business models; Varsity Team members can choose between three different commission structures, GTN says.
GTN’s top-tier Elite Team is generally appropriate for established travel professionals with commissionable travel sales of $300,000 or more per year, GTN says.
Elite team members are invited to join GTN’s Executive Marketing Committee, which will meet monthly via conference call and once annually in-person to discuss effective marketing strategies, sourcing and making the most of co-op funds, leveraging consortia benefits, and maximizing purchasing power with suppliers to ensure top-level commissions.
GTN says it has already accepted members for the Executive Marketing Committee; inaugural members include Jennifer Round and Ann Forehand of Slaydons Travel, Lori Hardegree of Destinations Travel, Carolyn Waffle of Certified Travel, Lindsay Larabee Heabel of Jet to Paradise Travel, and Lisa Fletcher of Signature Escapes.
GTN was accepted as a member of Ensemble, said GTN Executive Vice President Vanessa McGovern. “Ensemble has deeply invested in marketing and education to help agency owners develop their personal brands. They really put agency owners first.”
GTN says it is now accepting agents for the Varsity and Elite Teams. Varsity and Elite Team members pay an annual fee of $249, or can opt for a monthly fee of $24.99/month.