Additionally, 10 veterans are expected to complete Travel Leaders of Tomorrow by the end of 2019, and 50 veterans are currently in program or scheduled to begin. As of November 2019, 140 scholarship recipients have gone through the program.
Launched in May 2018, Veterans in Travel is open to veterans of any United States or Canadian military branch. After a rigorous application process, veterans are offered free admission to Travel Leaders of Tomorrow's Virtual Campus. The course of study consists of weekly lessons, faculty and guest lectures and a virtual study hall with a cohort.
At the end of the course, each participant is required to present a business plan to their instructors and classmates.
"I really love the program," says Mike Foster, President, Nexion Canada. "I grew up in a military family as my father was in the Air Force and we lived in France, Belgium, and Germany when I was a kid. I am pretty sure that is what gave me the 'travel-bug.'
Foster says some of his earliest memories are of travelling Europe on a budget with his parents.
"These years made some of the greatest impressions on my life, and I still enjoy the culture, the architecture, the history – and of course, the food and drink of Europe – as I have throughout my life. It isn't only the right thing to do to give back for selfless service, but it is also helping people to get started with a career where I believe they can make an impact on their own lives as well as the people they will serve in the travel industry. It's a win-win-win!"
Qualified Veterans in Travel scholarship recipients receive:
Complete Travel Leaders of Tomorrow program access
A waived activation fee upon joining Nexion Travel Group as a member
Two years of free membership for Nexion Travel Group's Nexion80 plan
Coaching from Nexion Travel Group's business coaches
Mentorship from current Nexion Travel Group members who have served in the military
Access to Nexion Travel Group's award-winning marketing and education programs
"It is truly an honour for Nexion Travel Group to help these veterans become travel advisors," said Nexion Travel Group President Jackie Friedman, CTC, CTIE. "They deserve our deepest gratitude for their service, and Veterans in Travel is one way we can show our appreciation.
"The travelling public benefits greatly as well, as veterans have the qualifications to become wonderful travel advisors," added Friedman. "They have dedication, global knowledge, specialized skills and more. Their entrepreneurship is helpful to their clients, their communities, and our economy as a whole."
Whitney Snell served as a 920B Supply Systems Technician in the U.S. Army for 20 years. After her service she worked as a Veteran Service Representative with Veterans Affairs. She was a Veterans in Travel participant in Travel Leaders of Tomorrow's most recent cohort.
"I am excited to begin my travel career," she said. "Being retired military, I have moved around the world every two to three years. At each duty assignment, I saw how visiting different places all around the world can help you see how other people are living, what their daily routines are, and experience their beliefs. The travel experience is the only thing you can buy that makes you rich, and I am so happy to be able to help my clients experience this for themselves."
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.