The theme of the retreat was increasing visibility as travel experts to get back on the consumer’s radar. GIFTE CEO Meredith Hill shared strategies for increasing one’s influence, writing engaging copy, and reaching a wider target audience of prospects.
“It’s up to individual travel professionals to implement changes in their businesses that get them in front of consumers,” said Hill. “We need to get rid of the idea that it’s the suppliers’ or host agencies’ jobs to make us visible again – it’s not.”
GIFTE Vice President Vanessa McGovern continued the theme of increasing visibility and influence through her interactive presentation on partnering and joint ventures. GIFTE members Lindsay Heabel and Carmen Perez also presented to the group. Heabel, owner of Jet to Paradise Travel, encouraged attendees to maximize revenue by charging service fees. Perez, founder of online magazine Effortless Living, shared productivity tips and strategies to manage overwhelm.
During the retreat, McGovern presented the inaugural GIFTE Young Professional of the Year award to Rhian Torontow of Magical Family Adventures. GIFTE established the award to honor GIFTE members under the age of 30 who have made incredible strides in both their business and mindset.
Day three of the retreat included a course for becoming a Certified Sandals Specialist, hosted by Sandals. Attendees also had the option of joining the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, on a “Reading Road Trip” to a local school for a morning of giving back. Those who attended the trip furthered the Sandals Foundation’s educational mission by helping to improve the reading comprehension skills of young Jamaican schoolchildren. Retreat attendees also brought school supplies and children’s clothing to donate to the Foundation’s “Pack for a Purpose” program.
The Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs was founded in 2011 by Meredith Hill in response to a desperate need for support, resources and tools for the committed travel consultant. As the fastest growing industry organization dedicated to marketing education for travel professionals, GIFTE’s mission is to revolutionize the way travel advisors market and grow their businesses. GIFTE’
If you would like more information about this event, or to schedule an interview with Meredith Hill, please email Emily Matras at Emily@travelbusinessu.com or call Emily at (704) 464-3273 ext. 503.