Shouldn’t You Get a Piece of the Action?

CruiseTravel Industry Exchange is the #1 travel specialization event and will showcase over 60 sessions focused on niche travel, featuring a Cruise Specialist Certification program including sessions by CLIA.

Participate in cruise-centered courses that will give you the tools to maximize your business, grow your commissions, and allow you to better serve your cruise clientele. Click here for speaker information.

Certified Cruise Specialist Courses Include:

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Meredith Hill to Keynote Inaugural Travel Industry Exchange Event

NEW YORK (June 9, 2015) ─ Meredith Hill, travel industry trailblazer and founder and chief executive officer of Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), will keynote Questex Travel Group’s Travel Industry Exchange event, which will debut Sept. 15-17 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida.

M hillThe event will emphasize niche travel and specialization and feature one-to-one appointments, networking events, influential speakers and educational programs designed to help travel professionals and global suppliers build on their expertise and grow their businesses.

Hill’s keynote will show travel professionals how to select and market their specialty to attract ideal clients and provide actionable steps to monetize their specialties.

In her address, “The Path to Limitless Opportunities Begins with Specialization,” Hill will draw upon her extensive travel career, entrepreneurial journey and success turning her failing business around to achieve record sales. Formerly the founder and president of Hills of Africa Travel, a boutique travel firm specializing in high-end, customized tours to Africa and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for clients, Hill will discuss how specialization and an entrepreneurial mindset helped her quadruple her business even during some of the most difficult economic years in travel history.

“Meredith has an authentic passion for helping entrepreneurs in the travel industry adopt a mindset for success and build travel businesses that change people’s lives,” said Marilyn McHugh, Questex Travel Group’s vice president of global events. “She has made a significant impact on hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world. Her powerful message will empower our attendees to leverage their specializations and inner strengths to maximize their sales performance.”

Founded in 2011, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE) is an organization that helps travel professionals learn to build successful businesses and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. GIFTE today serves more than 400 members through travel business courses and coaching programs. In 2013, Hill also founded Gifted Travel Network (GTN), a new breed of host agency designed to help travel entrepreneurs become more visible by helping them build their own brands and providing ongoing education, or “entrepreneurial nutrition.”

“I could not be more excited to speak at Travel Industry Exchange about the opportunities specialization can offer individuals who understand the new market dynamic,” said Hill. “There is unlimited potential in the travel industry for travel professionals who define their niche and implement successful business strategies to earn more money. This is the ideal forum for advisors and suppliers looking to further their knowledge, skills and business partnerships.”

Travel Industry Exchange will offer over 60 sessions focused on specific revenue-generating niche segments, including certification programs in luxury travel, cruises and weddings and romance as well as concentrated programs in technology, trends, destinations and millennial travel.

The inaugural Travel Industry Exchange will bring travel professionals and lifestyle specialists together with international suppliers, including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event will include over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions. For more information or to register, travel professionals may visit http://www.travelindustryexchange.com.

About Questex Hospitality + Travel

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group of Questex LLC serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to the global gross domestic product. Through an innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem, from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group serves every B2B segment of the industry, from investment and development to management operations, sales and marketing of hospitality and travel products to destination development and marketing, via proven demand generation, learning, loyalty and rewards solutions as well as a network of live events. This division of Questex is aligned around three broad market segments – hospitality, travel and meetings – and supported by its digital media staff.

Additional information is available at questex.com/markets/hospitality-travel.

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Why a New Generation of Travel Agents Matters More Than Ever

Conde Nast Traveler
By Maxwell Williams
May 28, 2015

In the digital era, it’s easy to assume that travel agents have become passé. But that’s not the case—in fact, if you want personalized service and luxurious touches on your next trip, you’ll almost certainly want a travel specialist in your back pocket.

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Some would argue that the need for a travel specialist (FKA a travel agent) has diminished in the digital era. But travel websites that promise to narrow the world seem to do just the opposite. And although there’s an app for nearly everything, there are still some experiences only a human can make happen. Because while you may now know that you need to go off-roading through the Gobi Desert, we’ll bet you still don’t know who in Ulaanbaatar rents the most reliable ATVs. Think of today’s finest specialists more as CIA operatives: They’ll pull off the impossible, plan a better trip than you ever could (really), and spare you the logistics. Put simply, they’ll nail it and you’ll have a better vacation because of them. Consider these firsthand accounts as proof.

CASE STUDY 1: THE SPECIALIST AS UPGRADER

“We want to spend two weeks in India…and there are 32 of us.”

Kapil Nanda, president and CEO of Infogain, a Silicon Valley high-tech company, called on Bertie and Victoria Dyer at India Beat to coordinate his epic homecoming to India.

“I’m from Delhi, and over the years a group of my friends had expressed an interest in going to India. In all, there were 32 of us—and there was no way I was going to organize that myself. Instead, I turned the planning of a two-week, six-city itinerary over to Bertie and Victoria Dyer. They helped us charter planes from Delhi to Jaisalmer to Udaipur to Delhi— we went to a lot of places that many people can’t get to because the logistics are so tricky. Jaisalmer, for example, is a town in the high desert near the Pakistan border.

“Its only airport is within an Indian Air Force base, so Bertie and Victoria had to make quite an effort to get permission from the defense minister for a private plane to land there. As we were sitting in our plane, ready to taxi, we watched the fighter planes buzz by in a sort of impromptu air show. There, we stayed at a spa/luxury camp called The Serai. All the rooms are beautiful tents—it’s the height of opulence—and in the evenings we’d eat around a campfire. One night, Bertie and Victoria arranged a private fireworks show. In Delhi, we ate at Le Cirque, on the roof of the Leela Palace ho- tel. All the menus were customized, and we often took over the whole restaurant. In some cases, we even took over the whole hotel. In Ranthambore, the tiger reserve, we stayed at the Oberoi Vanyavilas and went on a tiger-spotting safari. We were a fairly discerning group—there were CEOs of high-tech companies and a retired California Supreme Court justice among us—but back home, pretty much everyone agreed: It was truly the experience of a lifetime.”
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