If what he says is correct, this is a HUGE step in the right direction for YTB. However, little to nothing is known about Sixth Scott (Tomer perhaps??) or First Travel Alliance. And sine this was structured as an asset purchase, YTB will likely undergo a new name. Even ValueJet could not survive after they crashed an burned, but they sold, re-vamped, and upped the ante.
If YTB can do this and focus on travel rather than recruiting (and there are mixed messages still at this point coming from the directors) I am sure they will eventually be welcomed by the industry. Here is Doug Bauknight's opinion on the new YTB program as explained in his weekly newsletter. All emphasis is his:
Everything you love about YTB is staying exactly where it is! You'll have all the commission percentage opportunities, group booking access, and a fabulous customer facing booking engine (which will be getting a new look!).
You'll have access to even more travel vendors including all the major cruise lines, tour operators, hotels, airlines and charter organizations, best in class package deals, and even vacation home rentals! And, you'll book these vendors through your industry-leading agent only booking system! (No more commission claim form to fill out or various usernames and passwords for vendor specific booking engines!)
There will be new, specialized, in-depth training. This training will show you exactly how to be successful - even if you have limited experience in the travel industry. This new training program allows you to become even more knowledgeable in cruising, hotel properties, tour companies, and even destination specialists from some of the vendors who aren't currently available to you.
The new program will also show to market your business, when to sell what, how to use CRM and client data, as well as sales techniques to create a more profitable business!
Also in works: an optional A-List program for our top producing Travel Agents. The new travel company has programs that provide travel services to companies across the country. This program would give you access to process bookings generating more commission income for you.
The new partners are IATAN accredited, and those who meet certain commission requirements may be eligible to receive an IATAN ID card. With this, access to FAM trips, inaugural cruises, and ship positioning cruises where available are all a possibility.
From what we've been able to gather thus far, this is a welcome and much needed addition for those of us who love and focus on travel. (It's why we got into YTB all those years ago.)
Please keep in mind, this isn't going to happen over night there's a lot of work to be done between now and seeing all these enhancements as a reality.
Just know that it's in the works, and while YTB will still work on and control the marketing aspect of our business - we have a new partnership with experts in the travel industry to help all those who love and care about travel.