I am Dianne Tuttle, CTC
Owner and Qualifier of Academy Travel and Academy Travel School, which I founded in 1989. I have over 30 years experience in the travel industry and hold a Federal Bond with the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). I work closely with all cruise lines and tour operators and make recommendations for vacation packages to my clients. I raised $200,000 in private capitol to start my first travel agency. I am the administrator of Academy Travel School, founded in 1990 to teach people how to become professional travel agents and start their own home-based travel agency. I also plan, write and produce my own local TV show, "Let's Talk Travel" on public access channel. I hold positions on the Board of Directors on Commission on the Status of Women, reporting directly to County Board of Supervisors, and secretary on SLOCOPA TV show, a non profit organization, and I am former President of Optimists Club, past Ambassador for the local Chamber of Commerce for 9 years, and I am the founder and director of Travel Connections & Social Club. I am also a travel consultant for Gerson Lerhman Group and Goldman Sacks.
I have been in the travel business since 1979! WOW! That is a long time! I got hired right out of college with American Express and stayed there for 7 years. I have an AA degree from Foothill College and in 1984 received my CTC degree.
I Started my agency in 1989
along with my travel school, teaching people to be professional travel agents since 1989 and still teaching today! The travel school is now taught via a virtual website and I can train anyone who can access the internet right from my desktop to their laptop. I believe in the one-to-one hands-on training approach. Once signed up they get the Galileo Icon on their desktop and everything is taught in live time. They learn what a fare rule is and understand what makes them. Along with teaching about tours and cruises and actually calling and making bookings so they are prepared for the real client when they graduate from class.
I was a million + in air ticket sales back in early 90's. Well we all know what happened then. So I closed for a year and was in my bedroom wondering what I was going to do when I grow up! at the tender age of 50. So I restructured and reopened with leisure travel and $5.00 in my pocket.
I started a Travel Club. Using my travel club to run free press releases inviting people to join me for dinner once a month and 10 years later have over 1,000 on my email list. I plan social things to do during the month and plan group cruises and tours. We have been all over the world together. I also offer to help find roommates for those who don't want to pay the single supplement.
I then decided to look into TV. So now I host "Let's Talk Travel" on my local public access TV station in town. I invite my sales reps on to talk about their cruise lines or tour companies or invite someone who has been on a fabulous trip and would like to share it with my audience.
I am starting a "grass roots" effort to put the "professional" back in travel and in travel agents! And why the public should look to a professional travel agent to handle their leisure travel.
So join me in my effort! Call me, I can share with you some of the things I have done over time!
I have now added to my business building by having a once a month dance for my travel club. I found a venue in town to hold the dance, hired a great band, putting out press releases all over town and posting on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn about the dance. I also use a different non profit organization each month to donate all the proceeds to. I take the check to them get my picture taken handing them a check and get it into the local newspaper. What better advertising can you ask for free!