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Everyone has that one person in their circle; that trusted individual you can go to for informed guidance, sage advice, valuable experience and more. That person who never fails to bring fresh ideas to the table and challenges what has always been in order to build something better.

In the group travel industry, these are the leaders who have risen to the surface as folks who are always willing to try new things, bolster innovation within the industry, drive others in a positive direction, and are recognizable among group travel professionals as someone who can be relied upon.

We asked our readers to share who among their industry peers should be recognized for their efforts in this realm. Those who were selected to be among the 2022 Influencers of Group Travel were featured in a recent issue of Groups Today

 


 

Shanterria Earley
Founder & CEO | Travel Divas®

With over 14 years of travel industry experience, Shanterria Earley's purpose is to create "remember the time" experiences for Black women who want to expand their horizons, treat themselves to the gift of travel and experience the finest the rest of the globe has to offer.

Earley, who is also the Co-Owner of Travel Success Academy®, paved her own way in the travel industry and built a business that generates seven figures annually. She spends her days mentoring those up-and-coming in the industry, sharing the secrets she's learned along the way to the top. Being recognized as an industry influencer means everything to Earley.

"When I was working my way up in this business, I reached out to those who were already experiencing success for help and I soon realized this industry wasn't as welcoming as I thought," she said, noting she wants to change that narrative. "I worked long and hard to get to where I am today and don't want to keep the secret to my success ... a secret! It fills me up that I can be for others the person I needed when I was starting out. There's more than enough work for all of us, and I love to share success with all travel professionals. I fully believe that we are better together."

Earley hopes to continue to influence the group travel industry moving forward by working to cultivate a culture of excellence and honor.

"In my Facebook Community, we keep one another accountable, we celebrate our wins, we share trade secrets and best practices, we push each other to the next level," she said. "Ultimately, I hope to influence others through leading by example. My aim is to show those in this industry a better way."

According to Earley, simply showing up is an easy way that others in the industry can influence those in their own personal spheres.

"The best thing we can do within our communities and circles is notice one another and be there for each other," Earley said. "Really listen when we ask someone, 'How are you doing?' Everyone is facing something; everyone is striving and wanting to be better. The best thing we can do is show up with an open heart and be willing to share our own wins and losses to help the whole community learn and grow."

When it comes to looking forward into the future, Earley is eager to see travel become a more normalized part of everyone's budgeting practices.

"We were placed on this earth, and I believe we should all put a priority on seeing and experiencing all it has to offer," she explained. "We should be teaching our kids the importance of being immersed in other cultures. We should not view travel as a luxury for the elite, but rather raise one another up to see that with a little diligence, we can all have access to beautiful memories made through travel."

To read more about the rest of the 2022 Influencers of Group Travel, click here.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.

 

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