Meet Patricia

Patricia Castoro recently flew around the world to speak to members of a women’s travel club she helped form in 2023 in Palm Springs, CA.  

As a mom of three, wife, and business owner living abroad in Jordan, Patricia weighed the pros and cons of traveling 20+ hours and spending two weeks thousands of miles from her family.

It didn’t take long for her to decide.

“It was a no brainer,” Patricia said. “Meeting face to face is important. I wanted to be there in person so the women in the club could hear my story, ask me questions, and trust me as their travel advisor.”

Patricia’s dedication to her clients—and the big dreams she’s committed to achieving by prioritizing relationships—have led to phenomenal growth in the two years since she launched her business, Acacia & Lime Travel, an independent affiliate of Gifted Travel Network—a Virtuoso® member.

‘I followed the steps’

Patricia enrolled in Gifted Travel Network’s 12-month Travel MBA program in 2022. A year prior, while living in Kenya with her family, she had been inspired to become a travel advisor. She wanted to share the magic of Africa, along with the rest of the world, with others. Patricia quickly realized her potential. Aligned with a different host agency at the time, she set out to find one that more deeply valued two things she felt would help her business soar: a supportive, professional community of travel advisors and continuing education.

The Travel MBA program checked both boxes.

The program’s award-winning curriculum is designed to help new-to-industry and some experienced advisors launch luxury travel businesses, while giving them the resources they need for sustainable, long-term growth.

“I followed the steps outlined in the Travel MBA program,” Patricia said. “I didn't do them all perfectly all the time, but I followed them. I didn't skip anything.”

The Travel MBA content includes learning entrepreneurial fundamentals like branding, marketing, and mindset. It also teaches industry specific content, such as working with Gifted Travel Network and Virtuoso® Preferred Partners.

“Everything that is taught sets you up for success,” Patricia said. “The rest is up to you. You still have to do the work, but the program gives you the foundation to pursue your goals as a travel advisor.”

After graduating from the Travel MBA program, Patricia transitioned into Accelerate—the next professional development step for advisors hosted with Gifted Travel Network. As part of Accelerate, Patricia has access to additional coaching, mentoring, learning, and other tools specifically created to help her in the next phase of building a thriving business, including training offered through Gifted Travel Network’s consortium, Virtuoso.

As far as Accelerate benefits, Patricia regularly relies on a few to help her navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

“I’ve found both the Accelerate office hours and the laser coaching calls to be invaluable,” Patricia said. “I’ve leaned into the community, and everyone has been so generous with their knowledge.”

Exponential growth

The Travel MBA and Accelerate programs, combined with Patricia’s tenacity, passion, and cultivation of strong client and industry relationships, have resulted in exponential growth for Acacia & Lime Travel: 264% to be exact between 2022 and 2023.

Numbers aside, success for Patricia also has meant being able to choose more selectively who she works with—both in terms of clients and supplier partners—and the types of trips she designs.

“Africa is my favorite destination to book,” Patricia said. “There’s a lot of excitement and nervous energy around a trip to Africa, because it’s such a big experience for so many people. It tends to be a life-changing trip that leaves a profound impact.”

Regardless of the destination, Patricia is honored to help her clients create memories they will cherish for a lifetime. That’s true whether she’s working with families, couples, solo travelers, or members of the women’s travel club in Palm Springs.

"It brings me great fulfillment to facilitate families and friends spending quality time together, genuinely relishing each moment,” Patricia said. “I have a particular fondness for assisting families with coming of age, and adult children, knowing they will treasure every moment before embarking on the next chapter of their lives. Clients often express that their experience wouldn't have been possible without my assistance. There's immense satisfaction in knowing I've played a role. “

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Are you a travel advisor looking for a new host agency—one that prioritizes professional (and personal) growth in a supportive community of thriving luxury travel advisors? Learn more about our Accelerate program or apply to Gifted Travel Network today!

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