Multi Level Marketing travel agencies are exploding right now, and we need to talk about it. Let me just start by saying, I have no hate for people sharing children's books, makeup, or candles for a commission. At one time I had a huge team with a direct sales candle company, and I did make money. I am not a hater when it's a product being sold, even if it has a "team building" aspect.
That said, these travel MLMs are not looking our for your best interests. A serious, professional travel agent does not:
1. Advertise that they are a "Disney Travel Agent", an Earmarked travel agent, or an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Disney does not allow an individual agent to say any of that, so that's a sign they haven't been trained. I'm a travel agent, and I specialize in Disney vacations. (And not just Walt Disney World, btw.)
2. Brag about their discounts in front of people who paid full price. Tacky! Vendors give us opportunities to experience their product, so that we can share expert advice, and we aren't to discuss that with other travelers.
3. Hand out business cards or advertise themselves in destination
A professional travel agent DOES:
1. Spend hours (and dollars) on professional development, training, and personally experiencing their niche
2. Earn their credentials by actually booking travel, not recruiting more agents
3. Have YOUR best interests in mind, not their own personal travel discount.
If you are an agent with an MLM agency who is frustrated by the reputation of these agencies (which they have earned), I encourage you to look for a host agency! They will be much more focused on your personal development, not the number of people you recruit.
If you want expert assistance planning your trip, the best thing to do is ask your friends who they have used. I don't advertise at all, because all of my business comes from referrals. If you have found my website, someone probably told you about me!