All About Group Travel Consultants
by John DeCrotie
Most websites only talk about products and prices but you never really learn of the experience the staff and ownership can bring to your travels. I wanted to devote a page on our site to give you an insight into myself and the importance of learning all about Group Travel Consultants’ background.
I formed Group Travel Consultants in 2004 after having trained and worked for another tour operator for 5 years and then subsequently moved on to run and develop the visiting school music performers program at Universal Orlando for an additional 5 years. In both previous jobs, I learned both the value and high-levels of service required to facilitate groups ranging in size from 15 to 400 performers. These experiences taught me all about group travel and prepared me (along with my future staff) for what was to come.
While at Universal, not only did I have hands-on experience with visiting K-12 and College music groups from around the world, but I was also tasked with promoting the programs with the entire student travel industry. I was able to visit with my clients (virtually every student travel planner in the nation) several times a year helping them learn more about our programs but also aiding me to learn what worked well for their groups as well as the mistakes they would make. These lessons carried over to my company and helped form the high-level of service groups should expect when planning and traveling. As the representative for Universal Orlando, I was also fortunate to develop strong travel industry relationships that carry on today. These relationships benefit both my company and the groups we work for directly in the form of discounts and flexibility in the planning process.
Growth & Mission
Since starting GTC, we have grown from 2 travelling groups in 2004 to now having serviced hundreds of tours. We take great pride in the attention to detail and the understanding that groups need.
- Safety: We have worked with numerous school administrations across the country providing the required documentation, background checks and insurances to provide for the safety of the students as they travel. We want to provide a great and affordable travel experience but do not cut corners, provide inferior products or sacrifice safety in order to achieve these goals.
- Financial Flexibility: Our staff are fully aware that group leaders are sometimes at the mercy of the student body and their ability to fundraise in a timely manner, so we work with them to facilitate a realistic and flexible payment plan.
- No-Obligation Trip Quotes: It is really simple to obtain a quote from us and we do not want to ever put pressure on folks. With that said, when you contact us for a quote, there is no cost involved and we oly ask that we keep open communications. If you decide not to travel or take a different route that does not include GTC, just let us know and we will respect your decision. We only ask that we have the opportunity to bid.
- Communication: As parents ourselves of school-aged children, we realize the important role that communications before and during the trip have with the school staff and chaperones. The correct and concise communications we provide empower the leadership and their ability to do their respective jobs.
- Prior to Travel – Many groups are surprised by the accessibility they have with us ‘after hours’ and on weekends but this works to all our benefit. The more we are available to assist a music director or group leader before a trip starts, the less likely issues will come up during the trip. Once we begin the travel relationship group leaders will have unprecedented access to our cell phones for calls or texts to answer questions immediately instead of waiting until the next business day.
- During the Trip – We are there with you on your trip. When coming to Orlando, we are based and live here so we are usually minutes from your group if needed. Unlike other companies that either send you to a destination on your own or whom farm out local guides to occasionally meet you during your trip, when you travel to destinations outside Florida, we are actually there to meet you when you arrive and then we stay with you the entire time you are at your destination.
- Affordability: Again as band parents ourselves, we understand trips can only happen if they are affordable. We work with the group leader to set and learn the groups travel goals and then suggest and customize the trip to achieve them within a designated budget. In comparison to the substantial number of our competitors, we are proud to say that our tours less expensive, yet provide a full travel experience for the group.
- References: You see a small sampling of references scrolling on our website but we are also glad to provide the contacts for dozens of past clients whom will echo the same sentiment and experiences they have had with us. In fact, our best form of advertising are the voices of our past group leaders and we are proud of this. We like let our clients tell you all about Group Travel Consultants!
We look forward to the opportunity to show you why we feel we are the “Best Value in Student Group Travel”!
Group Travel Consultants
To learn more about why you want to consider GTC, click HERE.