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Group Travel’s Hidden Opportunities with Tamika Carter

There’s a world of business opportunity in group travel for professionals savvy enough to find it.

Case in point: Tamika Carter. After several false starts and failed attempts to succeed as a retail travel agent, she found success with groups, launching two group travel businesses and then founding Group Travel Academy. She joins this episode of the podcast to share insights from her experiences and giving advice for how to discover hidden opportunities in group travel.

Tamika talks about the biggest myths that are holding travel agents back from succeeding with groups and gives ideas about how smart travel sellers are leveraging the power of group travel in new ways. Plus, we have news about Americans’ travel plans for this summer; a road tip about keeping your travel toiletries stocked; and a Hot Minute about who’s responsible for the rising cost of travel.

Insights from Tamika Carter

On why travel agents are missing opportunities in group travel:

“There’s a myth in the industry that we as travel agents have to master individual bookings before we grow to groups. But that is a myth — that is not true. You can start with group travel and just have a group travel business and sustain your business from there. Or you can use your group travel business to funnel down to individual clients who want you to book individual trips for them, because they can see what a great job you did on the group trip they experienced with you.”

On the benefits of selling to groups:

“If you’re dealing with affinity groups, you’re dealing with one person. They’re just bringing all those other people along with them. That’s the key — work with one person and have them bring others along to fulfill your group trip….

“With group travel, there’s an opportunity to eliminate so many of the challenges that are out there with regard to individual travel bookings. Because a lot of times we get calls from people with regard to individual travel. They don’t know where they want to go, where they want to travel, and have no idea about the budget. But the good thing about group travel is that you can tell them where to go, you can tell them when to travel, you can tell them about all the experiences they will have on that group trip. You just create that exciting itinerary that you can sell over and over again.”

On the importance of focus in group sales:

“People tend to get FOMO when it comes to being in the travel industry. They think they should be serving everyone, when in fact what they should be doing is solidifying themselves as an expert by identifying a clean niche and target market of the people they want to serve. It will make them an expert in the industry and help them be able to turn down business that they don’t want.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Learn more about Group Travel Academy at

Join the Group Travel Planners United Facebook group here.

Follow Tamika Carter on YouTube.

Find our “Getting Started in Group Travel” page at

Read Deloitte’s 2024 Summer Travel Survey here.

Key Moments From This Episode

1:31 — Travel News: More Americans staying home due to travel cost

2:50 — Road Tip: Never run out of toothpaste again

12:06 — How Tamika Carter fought for her career in group travel

19:13 — Myths travel agents believe about selling group trips

23:35 — The economics of selling group travel

26:29 — Identifying non-traditional group travel opportunities

37:05 — Up-and-coming group travel ideas

54:10 — Who is responsible for the high price of travel?

Thanks to our sponsor Coastal Mississippi for making this episode possible. Learn more about Coastal Mississippi’s travel experiences for groups at

About the Podcast

Gather and Go with Brian Jewell is a tourism industry podcast that helps group travel leaders plan, promote and lead better trips. There are also tips and insights for destination marketers and others who support the tourism trade. Each episode reaches thousands of professional tour operators, travel agents and the volunteer group leaders they serve. The audience also includes destination museum leaders, church travel leaders and other tourism enthusiasts around the world. Each show includes an interview with a smart travel pro or an insightful person from outside tourism who’s expertise can help make travel businesses better. You’ll also hear travel news, road tips and more. New episodes are released about twice monthly.

You can find Gather and Go wherever your listen to podcasts or subscribe by email.

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