Last week our co-founder Paul Harrison took 28 Elite franchisees to Jamaica on a week-long, ‘money-can’t-buy’ luxury mentorship retreat.
Every Elite Experience includes some training in a classroom setting in order to help consultants skyrocket their business, as well as time to explore the destination as if they were a typical tourist. (click here to read more our Q&A blog on the Elite Experience).
“Led by Paul Harrison, the excellent training has inspired us all to press on hard and drive our businesses to the next level. With a work hard, play hard agenda, there was a great mix of training, fun experiences and a little sprinkling of relaxation,” says Peter, an Elite franchisee.
On this trip the group were hosted by The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa in conjunction with our key trade partner Gold Medal and the Jamaica Tourist Board.
“The five-star all-inclusive resort is a magnificent venue with a huge variety of speciality restaurants and bars enabling us to experience a different restaurant for dinner every evening. We now have so much personal experience in which to draw upon to help educate and inspire future customers about the hotel and Jamaica as a tourist destination,” says Peter.
Our Elite Experiences tend to include a mixture of Elite franchisees, but always include at least a few established consultants who have booked millions of pounds worth of holidays so that they can give tips and support to less experienced franchisees.
“Being part of a lovely group of fellow travel consultants was a really good bonding experience.The opportunity allowed us to share our experiences, our individual and collective challenges and generally draw inspiration and support from each other.”
Consultants get to know each other while dining, training and during sightseeing excursions.
“Highlights of the trip included a visit to Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, one of Jamaica’s national treasures – a magnificent cascading waterfall over 293 metres in length. Featuring in the James Bond film “Dr No” back in 1962 as well as Tom Cruise’s “Cocktail” in 1988, we had fun scaling the amazing natural phenomenon,” says Peter.
“We also enjoyed a great day out chilling on the beach at the legendary Margaritaville in Negril, supping rum cocktails to a backdrop of pumping island music and a memorable open-air lunch. This was followed by a visit to the iconic and buzzing Rick’s Cafe to witness a fantastic sunset that will live long in the memory.”
Like many of our consultants, Peter had never had experience in the travel industry before he joined us. After a 35-year career in advertising, he realised he no longer wanted to work in the industry.
“One of the reasons I left big corporate life was to create my own pressure and maintain a healthy work-life balance doing something I enjoy. As a travel consultant, we are not saving lives, but we are generally making a small and positive difference to people. I feel better about what I do now than what I did for 30-odd years: making people want what they don’t perhaps didn’t need.”
Like most of our franchisees, Peter chose The Travel Franchise because we have a reputation for training and supporting people new to travel – and because franchisees are free work part time, full time or in their spare time. Peter now works only part time as a media consultant and no longer finds work stressful.
While Peter was attracted to The Travel Franchise due to its flexibility and reputation for expert support and training, starting a business in a new industry can be daunting at first.
“I’ve always worked with people in big companies with big teams so it’s quite challenging when you are working for yourself but The Travel Franchise provides that support and teamwork element. I love the concept of a franchise as it allows a little bit of an entrepreneurial spirit but provides a bit of a safety net too.”
While Peter travelled all over the world during his previous career – he has visited 36 different countries, including the likes of Ethiopia, China, Barbados, Colombia and Taiwan – he has many more destinations on his bucket list.
And this year, the Elite Experience isn’t the only company trip he’s been on…
In the autumn, he attended our International Cruise Mastery retreat onboard the MSC cruise ship Euribia and he’s also about to pack his bags once again to travel to Cyprus for our Millionaire’s Retreat, a five-day ‘fam’ trip with tours and workshops.
“Working for Not Just Travel is providing me with opportunities to see parts of the world I haven’t yet visited”