West Coast travel agents still have time to apply to attend GTM West. // © 2014 Global Travel Marketplace
More than one-third of the available travel agent spaces for the inaugural Global Travel Marketplace West (GTM West) have been evaluated and approved in just the first two weeks of eligibility. Those travel agents located in the eligible states on the West Coast and interested in being considered for the elite networking event are encouraged to apply quickly.
GTM West will take place at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., from May 2-4. Sister event GTM Flagship will be held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from July 9-11. These are boutique events that give pre-approved travel agents the opportunity to meet new suppliers, strengthen relationships with familiar suppliers and network with peers.
“The caliber of applicants and diversity of business models for the GTM participants continues to impress our agent selection team,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Vice President of Events for Northstar Travel Media. “Earning a spot in the inaugural pool for GTM West is impressive for the participant and also great for Northstar as we continuously work to solidify the value and professionalism of the travel agency community.”
To qualify and apply for GTM West, travel agents must have $800,000 in individual annual sales or be an owner of a multimillion-dollar agency who actively books travel and has the authority to make product and partner decisions.
Supplier participant spots are also limited to only 100 suppliers and nearly half of the openings eligible are now closed.
“As part of our commitment to provide an excellent return on investment for participants and suppliers, we are limiting supplier participation within product categories and global location to ensure equitable representation for our attendees and limited competitive suppliers for our partners,” said Evanko-Lewis.
Both GTM West and GTM Flagship include two days of one-on-one, scheduled meetings. Travel agents will have a minimum of 50 face-to-face meetings, each of which will last six minutes. Participants will also attend a number of boardroom presentations, during which suppliers will meet with travel agents in a collaborative and interactive environment.
“The response from travel agents for GTM West has exceeded our already high expectations,” said Jacqueline Hurst, Travel Agent Acquisition Director for GTM. “Applicants are incredibly enthusiastic about the business opportunities this event provides and about the chance to experience the Westin La Paloma and the destination of Tucson.”
Selected agents are fully hosted, receiving roundtrip air, a three-night hotel stay, meals, networking opportunities and invitations to events.
GTM West is for travel agents from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Travel agents from the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan are also eligible.
Travel agents must apply online and provide supplier references and information about their annual bookings. The next step is a one-on-one telephone interview.