Hello, my name is Gerry
Notino, Publisher of FAMrates.com and author of The
Complete Guide to FAM Trips & Travel Agent Discounts.
Like many of you, I began my travel career for the
excitement and adventure of traveling around the world.
I recall my neighbor always telling me how his job
as a travel agent allowed him to travel for free.
As I continuously saw him leave his house with a packed
suitcase, I knew that would be me someday.
Fresh out of travel school,
I was hired as a travel counselor working for a large
business travel center. I was extremely excited and
quickly began planning my FAM Trips and discounted
travel arrangements. Back in 1989, business was good
and the perks were enormous! I literally had an unlimited
amount of free airline tickets at my disposal with
hotels & resorts awaiting my arrival.
Many of my colleagues
were impressed at my ease of obtaining complimentary
or Comped travel and I even earned nicknames
such as the Comp King and the Fam
Man. It seemed I had gained a reputation as
the person to see for FAM Trips & Travel Agent
Discounts. Soon after, my office created a position
for me as the FAM Coordinator. I was to be in charge
of planning FAM trips and guiding my colleagues with
their personal travel.
Word quickly spread amongst
travel agent circles and I began getting requests
from a whole host of agents: even outside of my office.
Realizing I needed extra assistance, I enlisted the
help of a few trusted friends in the travel industry
and assembled my fam team. Over the years, we planned
- we arranged - we traveled!
began to change in the mid-nineties with the much-dreaded
Internet. With the click of a mouse, the role of the
traditional travel agent seemed to be diminishing.
Although many of my coworkers disagreed, I saw the
writing on the wall; the Travel Industry was in for
a huge change. Home-based agents were to be the new
21st century driving force of the industry.
I guess I was right,
our office closed in 2000 and I found myself unemployed
- wondering what my next step was. I decided to take
my knowledge and experience one step further and created
FAMrates.com. Again, I rounded up my FAM team and
together we created one place where travel agents
can turn to for travel agent discount information.
With thousands of travel
agents visiting our site, I get to do what I love
help travel agents get traveling!