LET’S BE REAL.
Being an advisor is awesome, but sometimes, incredibly frustrating. Especially for those of us who were born somewhere between Microsoft DOS and “fake news”—we're building our businesses in a totally different environment than those before us. We live in a world where information is free, options are endless and content is king. We're competing with influencers (who get paid to post), AI and virtual assistants that claim to do our job (spoiler alert: they don't) and technology that empowers consumers to book direct (read: reduced commissions). WTF is a self-respecting agent to do? #millennialproblems 🙄
Simply put, tech has reinvented how people book travel, and instead of competing, we should be leveraging tech to make our lives easier. Our industry hasn't kept up—existing organizations have existing structure with existing staff who are quite happy with just well, existing. We’re not.
We’re a new workforce, a generation of well-connected, social media superstars, side-hustlers, digital nomads, and entrepreneurs building empires from basements (some of us quite literally). We’re AMIKOS—advisor/influencer hybrids with the skills to meet the demands of today and tomorrow. We’re coming together to disrupt a stagnant industry by finding creative solutions for today’s advisors and enhance what makes us great in the first place—our service, connections and knowledge. And, we're using our combined buying power to encourage environmental and social responsibility to improve the world around us.
By uniting those looking to innovate how we do business, we’re collecting the best ideas and testing out new products and services without being held back by the constraints of heavy overhead and existing models. Our industry is evolving fast, and we believe the best way to stay ahead of the curve is to give everyone a seat at the table.
I hope you’ll join us, friend.
Marisa Costa, Founder
Marisa is an independent travel advisor of Protravel International and the official travel advisor for the celebrity content group Follow Me Network. She also serves on the Global Board of Young Travel Professionals and the Millennials Coalition of the Job Creators Network. Marisa is most well-known for creating the ground-breaking NEXT Program. Drawing from her experience as a tour operator and her background in education, Marisa created the 6-week intensive travel agent training program for industry giants Protravel International & Tzell Travel Group and personally recruited, trained and mentored dozens of new advisors. Passionate about the career and entrepreneurship, Marisa advocates on behalf of the modern travel advisor through roundtables, panels, speaking engagements and consulting.
Brittany Olinkiewicz, Social Media Manager
Brittany was born and raised on Shelter Island, locked in by the sea. But she was never "sheltered" for too long, starting her travels after high school, living in Hawaii and then Madrid. She has traveled throughout Europe and expanding to other countries this coming year. A lover of different foods and cultures, Brittany can't stay in one place for too long. And her passion for art and photography is a helpful tool in the social media game.
What’s with the name?
Like amigo in Spanish or amico in Italian, amiko (ah-me-ko) means friend in Esperanto—a universal language designed in the 1800’s to foster harmony between cultures. The majority of Millennial travelers don’t ask travel agents for advice—they ask their friends. They hunt for inspiration on Instagram, source advice from friends on Facebook, and spend hours sifting through reviews on Google. The reason for this is simple: they want suggestions from someone just like them, who travels the same way they do. AMIKOS connect with their clients digitally, just like their friends.
Who should join?
AMIKO is exclusively for client-facing, actively-booking travel advisors and tour operators. Acceptance in the community is merit-based—advisors from any agency are welcome to apply! Joining AMIKO does not change your affiliation with any agency/consortium. We do not get involved in the booking process—our members book through their respective agencies, and we don't take any of your commission (we know how hard you work for it)!
What do I get?
AMIKO members gain access to our exclusive, advisors-only Facebook group, as well as our custom app. Members of the community receive invitations to events and fam trips as well. Most importantly, they have opportunities to connect with each other, providing much needed support and fostering the sharing of resources.
What does it cost?
We believe in full transparency—while membership is currently FREE, we will likely be implementing an annual fee in the future in order to support our growth and invest in the technology you need to better serve your clients. Don't worry, we know we need to prove our value to you first!
How is AMIKO funded?
AMIKO is currently funded by Partners—we collaborate with like-minded brands looking to better connect with our exclusive community of advisors and innovate their products and services. Interested in working with us? Click here to find out more!