As we prepare for travel’s big comeback in 2021 and beyond, there’s no better time than now to get your business ready. To start off the new year, we gathered a panel of agency owners to share their expertise with us! We chat through different topics such as marketing, coaching your agents, the client experience, and more.
- Traci Elswick, Middle of the Magic Travel
- Cindy Minor, Small World Big Fun
- Kelly Ortiz, Guru Travel
- Jennifer Wayland, Island Travel Group
About the Panelists:
Owner, Middle of the Magic Travel
Hi I’m Traci Elswick owner of Middle of the Magic Travel based in sunny Orlando Florida I have been in the travel industry for over 13 years now planning magical vacations for families. My specialty and the reason for starting my career in travel is to help families with special needs children have a magical stress free vacation! Since I have a child with autism myself, I know all the tips and tricks for traveling with a special needs child. Making sure kids, especially those with special needs, have the most magical time possible; this is my calling in life.
I have owned Middle of the Magic for over 8 years now. We are a high Disney infinity agency focused on white glove concierge level service for all our clients.
From 2016 through 2017, I served on Disney’s Earmarked Program Travel Advisory Council. In a select group of 20 agency owners. I have also been featured on several podcast, blogs and magazines. Probably the most exciting client to date is Bradford Anderson who plays the character Damien Spinelli on General Hospital.
Owner, Small World Big Fun
Cindy Minor, owner of Small World Big Fun, has been planning trips for family and friends for almost 20 years.
After graduating from the University of Arkansas in 1989 with a degree in History, Cindy’s original plan was to attend law school. Her career path instead lead her into a career in sales and marketing. Then in 2001, a brief conversation with a friend at church about a Disney vacation led Cindy to join a local travel agency as a part-time, independent travel agent. “I had no idea I could actually get paid for helping people plan Disney vacations.”
After more than a decade of experience as an independent agent, Cindy took a leap of faith and started Small World Big Fun in early 2008. The agency has earned the prestigious Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and Universal U-Preferred Agency designations. Cindy served as a member of Disney’s EarMarked Travel Advisory Council from 2012-2014.
While Disney Destinations remains a large part of her business, it is no longer the primary focus. The Small World Big Fun travel portfolio now includes destinations all over the world. With 40 agents located in cities coast-to-coast, our agents have the depth of knowledge and experience to handle just about any destination.
“I am a planner by nature. Being a travel advisor allows me to use my best gifts and abilities to benefit my clients,” says Cindy. “I feel so incredibly blessed to play a small part in helping families create memories that last a lifetime.”
Cindy’s best travel advice: Have a plan, but remember that often, the most memorable experiences are the ones that you could not possible plan. Leave room for unexpected magic.
Founder, Guru Travel
Like many Disney fans, Kelly wanted to share her love for Walt Disney and all that he accomplished. First came the blog. Second came the travel business. Then everything exploded from there.
Guru Travel is built on the foundation of knowledge. As a former teacher, Kelly’s passion for teaching permeates into every aspect of her life and Guru Travel is no exception. A well educated traveler is a happier traveler and a well educated team can provide every traveler with the perfect vacation.
Founder, Island Travel Group
Jennifer Wayland began her career with American Airlines, managed AAA Travel, and founded Island Bridal, Inc. in 2002, specializing in unique honeymoons and destination weddings. Her Award Winning Travel Agency has grown consistently and in 2019 she launched the Travel Lab where she teaches Travel Agents of all experience levels to perfect the process of professional travel planning so that they can relax and vacation while building a lucrative travel business. Jennifer also mentors a group of Travel Agency owners using growth strategies such as automation, engagement and incentivizing their staff, so they can simplify and supersize their travel company.