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NEST Experiences Massive Growth as It Celebrates 20 Years of Pioneering Support for Home-Based Agencies

NEST Experiences Massive Growth as It Celebrates 20 Years of Pioneering Support for Home-Based Agencies

First and Only Home-Based Agency Network Has Accepted 27 Affiliates with $78 Million in Sales in 2024


OYSTER BAY, NY (April 16, 2024) – Twenty years ago, American Marketing Group leaders identified a blossoming revolution among travel agencies. Successful agents didn’t need to rely on walk-in customers any longer. They already had a strong book of business. As a result, they were increasingly choosing to work from the comfort of home.


“People were leaving their storefront locations, taking their businesses home, and becoming just as if not more successful there,” said NEST President Kathryn Mazza-Burney. “We knew we needed to start a new network as a lifeline connecting home-based advisors and suppliers. And we needed to show advisors working from home that we respected and highly valued them.”


Early Years


For the network, founders considered names such as Splash and Wave before settling on the Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel. They then had to build a consortium of travel agencies and preferred suppliers. To recruit affiliates in person close to home, NEST leaders embarked on a 12-city road show. The aptly named “Success Series” also featured visionary preferred suppliers and organization partners seeking to maximize the potential of this emerging industry movement.


Growth milestones for the fledgling network came faster than NEST executives imagined due to the road show and powerful word of mouth. In its first month of operation, April 2004, NEST received 1,000 applications for affiliation. From the beginning, NEST maintained high membership standards, signing only 100 agencies three months after its founding. A sizable number of the original members from that first year are still with NEST today.


The network held its first conference in September 2005 in Las Vegas, presenting Golden Egg awards to outstanding agencies. The familiar NEST FEST name for the signature event first appeared in 2006. When TRAVELSAVERS and NEST held their first Travel Market together in 2010, the Golden Egg awards became known as the NEST Awards, and a new level for top-selling agencies called NEST Elite was launched. 


Sizable Growth


Today, as NEST celebrates its 20th anniversary, it is 500 agencies strong. The huge increase in home-based advisors is currently fueling exponential growth. In this commemorative year, NEST has accepted 27 agencies so far, bringing with them $78 million in sales.


“With NEST we have had more support and personal care than we’ve had for over seven years with our previous consortia,” said Lesley Sawhook, CEO of Exclusive Travel Partners, which joined NEST in February. “We are so thankful for this team at NEST and all they’ve done for us in this short time that we can’t wait to continue to build this relationship and partnership for years to come.”


Mission and Values


NEST was and still is the industry’s first and only travel marketing group in the U.S. dedicated solely to independent home-based agencies. Its goal is to create opportunities tailored for the needs of home-based consultants, encourage close agency-supplier partnerships, and increase profits and success for affiliated agencies and suppliers.


“NEST has been incredibly successful because it has stayed true to its core values,” said NEST Senior Vice President Wayne Spector. “We’ve kept our promise to home-based advisors to champion their interests. We haven’t strayed from our mission or tried to be everything to everyone. Because of this, NEST is so much more than a consortium. It’s a unique home for like-minded entrepreneurs, all striving for success.”


The NEST Advantage


While NEST is expanding rapidly, it grows by invitation only. To qualify, an agency must be home-based and independently owned and operated. It must be registered to book directly with suppliers, not through a host. Also, it must generate a minimum level of preferred supplier sales.


NEST provides many competitive advantages to its affiliated agencies. Business analysts work hand in hand with agencies to identify opportunities for growing sales and creating marketing strategies. As well, the network provides affiliates with higher commissions, as advisors keep 100 percent of what they earn; profit-sharing opportunities; unparalleled preferred supplier relationships; turnkey lead-generation campaigns; professional development; exclusive events; peer support and sharing of best practices; and proprietary technology tools.


“I’ve stayed with NEST for all these years because of the incredible support and opportunities they’ve provided me and my business,” said Michelle Bouzek, owner of Vacations in Paradise, an original NEST affiliate from 2004. “From the beginning, NEST believed in me and my agency. Over time, they’ve consistently delivered value through their resources, training, and network.”


About NEST


The Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel is the industry’s first and only marketing group exclusively for independent home-based travel agencies. The company empowers home-based advisors to achieve greater success financially, professionally and personally by championing best practices, solutions and opportunities. NEST helps home-based travel entrepreneurs build their business, keep their identity and maintain control. The network delivers what home-based advisors need to increase their competitive edge and profitability, including a high level of personalized support, award-winning marketing, preferred partner portfolio, education, exclusive networking and events, and innovative technology. NEST also helps suppliers reach the rapidly growing home-based distribution channel with training, motivation, offers and compensation. For more information, visit