Earlier this month, we successfully hosted one of our biggest events of the year Symposium 2024, The Business of Selling Luxury Travel!

This event started in Amsterdam and was hosted aboard the fully chartered AmaWaterways' AmaMora river cruise ship. Over the course of five enriching days, attendees embarked on an immersive journey into the realm of luxury travel. Participants gained invaluable insights into attracting, serving, and retaining luxury travelers through live training sessions, networking opportunities, and engaging interactions with industry partners.

The GTN network is a powerhouse that will grow from strength to strength because of the commitment to its agents and partners and the willingness to share skills, information and talents with a “we are in it together to make it happen” mindset," said Kees Hoogerton, Director of Sales & Marketing at Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. I love working with the company which was founded by three extraordinary women.

Now that the GTN team, advisors and preferred partners have returned from Symposium, it is time to recap the highlights from this amazing event!

Welcome Reception:
Symposium 2024 commenced with a vibrant welcome reception held at the prestigious Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, graciously sponsored by Accor and hosted by Kees Hogetoorn. Attendees were greeted with an evening of engaging activities with enticing trip prizes, captivating musical performances, and more. The event set the perfect tone for the Symposium's commencement, providing a platform for networking and camaraderie among industry peers. Attendees embraced the wardrobe theme of "a touch of gold," adding a luxurious flair to the gathering.

Watch our welcome reception video here!

Pictured Above: On left, Kees Hogetoorn officially kicking off the welcome reception!
Pictured Above: GTN Advisor Natalyn Sofola reacting to winning
Pictured Above (from left to right): Kees Hogetoorn, Vanessa McGovern and Meredith Calloway
Pictured Above: Family Twist, Dionne Brown.

Content Sessions:
Throughout the five days onboard the Amawaterway's, Amamora, attendees fully immersed themselves in the Symposium experience; learning, networking and being present in every moment. Each day featured a mix of learning sessions, collaboration groups, insightful panels and partner spotlights. The theme of luxury was consistent in every session: defining luxury, how to service luxury clients, how to find luxury clients, embracing luxury, exploring the world of ultra luxe, indulging, storytelling, and more.

GTN was fortunate enough to have renowned speakers onboard sharing their expertise during this event.

Lise Marie Wertanzl
Founder/Owner of Sterling Journeys
As a GTN top producer serving ultra-luxury clientele, Lise Marie Wertanzl provided invaluable insights into catering to this exclusive market segment. She delved into the nuances of client attraction strategies tailored to the ultra-luxury demographic and explored the intricacies of establishing a symbiotic relationship with clients. Drawing from her extensive experience, Lise shed light on the unique dynamics of the ultra-luxury realm, offering practical advice on how to navigate and thrive within this elite sphere.

Dietmar Wertanzl
President & CEO at Anglo-Eastern Leisure Management

Focusing on the hospitality side of luxury travel, Dietmar Wertanzl offered a comprehensive perspective on the business aspects of the industry. Attendees gained valuable insights into applying hospitality principles to their own businesses, learning how to elevate client experiences and foster long-term relationships. Through practical examples and case studies, Dietmar emphasized the importance of integrating hospitality principles into every facet of one's business operations.

Tony Logan
Director of Advisor Success, Virtuoso

Bringing the lens of agency ownership and affiliation with Virtuoso, Tony Logan shared his expertise on building and maintaining successful travel agencies. He emphasized the paramount importance of effective communication with clients, outlining proactive strategies to enhance client engagement and satisfaction. Tony's session provided attendees with actionable insights on how to leverage affiliation with prestigious organizations like Virtuoso to amplify their business success.

Richard Lebowitz
Senior Vice President, Travel Industry Outreach at Forbes Travel Guide
Drawing from his extensive background with Forbes Travel Guide, Richard Lebowitz provided invaluable insights into achieving excellence in luxury travel service. His session focused on the key principles and criteria upheld by Forbes Travel Guide in evaluating luxury establishments and experiences.

Philippe Hertzberg
Founder & CEO of Secret Journeys
Philippe Hertzberg explored the art of storytelling in selling experiences to clients, tapping into the science behind neural coupling to forge deeper connections. Attendees learned how to craft compelling narratives that resonate with clients on an emotional level, effectively conveying the value of experiential travel.

In addition to our speakers, we had 19 partners who shared their luxury expertise through presentations and participation on our panels.

Pictured Above: The GTN Executive team from left to right, Vanessa McGovern, Sandy Saburn, Jen Cochrane and Meredith Calloway.
Pictured Above: Lise-Marie Wertanzl presenting during a content session!
Pictured Above: Attendees listening to a content session.


Attendees had the opportunity to explore the enchanting landscapes of the Netherlands through a series of captivating excursions. From the iconic windmills of Kinderdijk to the picturesque streets of Bruges and Ghent, participants immersed themselves in the cultural heritage of these charming destinations. Culinary delights awaited in Gouda, where a walking tour culminated in a delectable cheese tasting experience!

Pictured Above: Canal cruise in Amsterdam!
Pictured Above: GTN Advisors and staff during the walking tour of Bruge!
Pictured Above: Visiting a cheese museum in Gouda!
Pictured Above: GTN advisors and staff in Kinderdijk touring the inside of a windmill.