Destination Travel Resorts Review: Fee commissions
Destination Travel Resorts operates in the MLM travel niche and market a series of third-party travel club memberships.
Destination Travel Resorts do not reveal where they operate out of (company’s website domain registration is set to private) but reveal that they are headed up by CEO Johnny Bolton (photo right).
On his LinkedIn profile, Bolton (crediting himself as “President” of Destination Travel Resorts), lists the company as operating out of the “greater Los Angeles area” in the US.
MLM history wise, Bolton appears to have gotten into the industry with Global Resorts Network, leaving the company in August 2008 to co-found “MOR Vacations”.
MOR Vacations sells “members only resort vacations” and doesn’t appear to be MLM. Bolton left MOR Vacations in January 2010 and joined “Ionways” in May 2010.
Ionways market water ionizers with Bolton serving as Vice-President of sales until May 2011.
On his Destination Travel Resorts company bio, the company states Bolton ‘retired from the business world in 2011‘ and ‘has come out of retirement (to) launch Destination Travel Resorts‘.
Read on for a full review of the Destination Travel Resorts MLM business opportunity.
The Destination Travel Resorts Product Line
Destination Travel Resorts have no products or services of their own. Instead, the company markets travel services through Travelocity, who offer a free affiliate program which Destination Travel Resorts would have signed up for.
What’s interesting is how Destination Travel Resorts market Travelocity’s services, as they appear to do it via the company CashBackBooking.
There are links directly to CashBackBooking website on Destination Travel Resorts own website:
And here’s a screenshot of CashBackBooking powering Destination Travel Resorts’ hotel booking backend:
Destination Travel Resorts do not disclose their relationship (or possible ownership) or CashBackBooking anywhere on their website.
CashBackBooking do not reveal who runs the company or disclose their relationship with Destination Travel Resorts on their website either.
The Destination Travel Resorts Compensation Plan
The Destination Travel Resorts compensation plan revolves around the booking of travel through their Travelocity powered booking engine and the selling of Destination Travel Resorts memberships.
Booking Engine Commissions
Identical to CashBackBooking’s commission payouts, Destination Travel Resorts pay affiliates commissions on travel booked through their replicated travel booking engines.
On any travel booked, Destination Travel Resorts affiliates earn 50% of the commission Travelocity pay the company.
An additional 10% is offered on the Travelocity commissions paid out on the booking of any of their recruited affiliates, paid out down five levels of recruitment.
Retail Membership Commissions
Upon selling Destination Travel Resorts’ “Travel Executive” and “Travel Admiral” membership packages, affiliates earn a $50 and $600 commission respectively.
Note that these commissions are only paid out if a retail customers purchases either of the travel packages (not a recruited Destination Travel Resorts affiliate).
Destination Travel Resorts Affiliate Ranks
Several components of the Destination Travel Resorts compensation plan are tied into an affiliates rank within the compensation plan.
Ranks are primarily tied into Personal Volume (PV, volume you generate yourself via the payment of monthly membership fees and selling of memberships to others), Group Volume (GV, volume your downline generates) and the recruitment of ranked affiliates.
There are eight affiliate ranks within Destination Travel Resorts and, along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Bronze – generate 30 BV a month
- Silver – generate 100 GV a month and have two unilevel legs with a Bronze ranked affiliate in each
- Gold – generate 1000 GV a month and have two unilevel legs with a Silver ranked affiliate in each
- Platinum – generate 5000 GV a month and have two unilevel legs with a Gold ranked affiliate in each
- Diamond – generate 25,000 GV a month and have two unilevel legs with a Platinum ranked affiliate in each
- Double Diamond – generate 100,000 GV a month and have two unilevel legs with a Diamond ranked affiliate in each
- Diamond Ambassador – generate 250,000 GV a month and have three unilevel legs with a Double Diamond ranked affiliate in each
- Crown Ambassador – generate 1,000,000 GV a month and have three unilevel legs with a Diamond Ambassador ranked affiliate in each
Volume is generated via the sale of memberships as follows:
- Affiliate membership ($29.95 a month) = 30 volume points
- Travel Executive membership ($99.95 a month) = 100 volume points
- Travel Ambassador membership ($1599.95 a month) = 1600 volume points
Affiliate Membership Commissions
Whenever a recruited Destination Travel Resorts affiliate purchases either a Travel Executive or Travel Admiral membership option, the company pays out “Fast Start Bonus” on the first months membership fees.
The Fast Start Bonus is paid out via a unilevel compensation structure. A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of the structure, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1).
If any level 1 affiliates recruits new affiliates of their own, they are then placed on level 2 of the original unilevel structure and so on and so forth.
How much of a Fast Start Bonus is paid out and on how many levels of recruitment depends on a Destination Travel Resorts affiliate’s membership rank:
- Affiliate – 25% on level 1
- Silver – 26% on level 1, 1% on level 2
- Gold – 27% on level 1, 1% on level 2
- Platinum – 28% on level 1, 2% on level 2 and 1% on level 3
- Diamond – 29% on level 1, 3% on level 2, 2% on level 3 and 1% on level 4
- Double Diamond – 30% on level 1, 4% on level 2, 3% on level 3, 2% on level 4 and 1% on level 5
- Diamond Ambassador – 31% on level 1, 5% on level 2, 4% on level 3, 3% on level 4, 2% on level 5 and 1% on level 6
- Crown Ambassador - 32% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 5% on level 3, 4% on level 4, 3% on level 5, 2% on level 6 and 1% on level 7
This equates to $24.75 on a Travel Executive membership and $399.75 on a Travel Ambassador membership at the Affiliate level and $31.99 and $511.68 at the Crown Ambassador membership level for all level 1 affiliate membership purchases.
Note that this is not in addition to the retail commission offered above and is only paid out on recruited affiliate membership purchases.
When an affiliate joins Destination Travel Resorts, they are given a position in what the company calls a “unified payline”. The easiest way to visualise this is to think of a single line queue.
Affiliates who joined before you are ahead of you in the queue and those who joined after are behind.
Destination Travel Resorts’ Training Bonuses are paid out on those affiliates behind you in the queue (affiliates who join after you), with the company paying out a 1% commission ‘on the first months membership’ of new affiliates.
Payment is made on up to 10 new affiliates who join after you, paid out on affiliates who join at the same rank as yourself.
If you join as a Travel Executive ($99) you get paid out on the first 10 Travel Executive affiliates who join after you (each affiliate 99 cents, total = $9.90). If you join as a Travel Admiral ($1599) you get paid out on the first 10 Travel Admiral affiliates who join after you (each affiliate = $15.99, total = $159.90).
In order to qualify for the Training Bonus, a Destination Travel Resorts affiliate must ‘listen to (a) short 10 to 15 minute live or recorded Webinar to learn how to properly promote the Destination Travel Resorts products and opportunity‘.
Monthly Travel Membership Commissions
Destination Travel Resorts pay out ‘ $4 each month ( a recruited member) pays their monthly membership‘.
If a recruited affiliate decides to pay for their annual membership upfront, this commission is paid out as a lump sum of $44 (equivalent of 11 months monthly commissions).
Monthly Affiliate Membership Commissions
All affiliates in Destination Travel Resorts are required to pay a $29.99 monthly membership fee, which is commissionable.
Using the same “unified payline” single line queue as the Training Bonuses, Destination Travel Resorts affiliates can earn commissions on the monthly affiliate fees the company charges.
Via the Monthly Affiliate Membership Commissions, affiliates ‘earn commissions every month on the first 7 people under (them) in the payline‘ (people after you in the queue).
How much of a percentage of the monthly affiliate membership fee paid is again dependent on a Destination Travel Resort affiliate’s own membership rank:
- Silver – 1% on level 1
- Gold – 2% on level 1, 1% on level 2
- Platinum – 3% on level 1, 2% on level 2 and 1% on level 3
- Diamond – 4% on level 1, 3% on level 2, 2% on level 3 and 1% on level 4
- Double Diamond – 5% on level 1, 4% on level 2, 3% on level 3, 2% on level 4 and 1% on level 5
- Diamond Ambassador – 6% on level 1, 5% on level 2, 4% on level 3, 3% on level 4, 2% on level 5 and 1% on level 6
- Crown Ambassador – 7% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 5% on level 3, 4% on level 4, 3% on level 5, 2% on level 6 and 1% on level 7
Destination Travel Resorts’ Matching Bonuses again uses a unilevel compensation structure, paying out up to 10% on the commissionable volume generated by your downline.
- Silver, Gold and Platinum affiliates earn 10% on all their personally recruited affiliates (level 1)
- Diamond affiliates earn 10% on all their personally recruited affiliates and 2% on the downline volume of any personally recruited Diamond ranked affiliates
- Double Diamond affiliates earn 10% on all their personally recruited affiliates, 2% on the downline volume of any personally recruited Diamond and Double Diamond ranked affiliates
- Diamond Ambassador affiliates earn 10% on all their personally recruited affiliates, 2% on the downline volume of any personally recruited Diamond and Double Diamond ranked affiliates and 3% on the downline volume of any personally recruited Diamond Ambassador ranked affiliates
- Crown Ambassador affiliates earn 10% on all their personally recruited affiliates, 2% on the downline volume of any personally recruited Diamond and Double Diamond ranked affiliates and 3% on the downline volume of any personally recruited Diamond Ambassador and Crown Ambassador ranked affiliates
Quarterly Leadership Pools
Destination Travel Resorts’ Quarterly Leadership Pools are made up of ‘monthly membership fees and from the commissions generated from (the) Cash Back Booking Engine‘.
The Leadership Pool is split into five smaller pools, with 20% being split amongst Destination Travel Resorts’ Platinum, Diamond, Double Diamond, Diamond Ambassador and Crown Ambassador ranked affiliates (20% each pool).
Quarterly Leaders Pools are paid out each quarter. Leaders must maintain rank for 2 of the 3 months of the quarter to qualify for that leaders pool.
Joining Destination Travel Resorts
Membership to Destination Travel Resorts as an affiliate is $29.95 a month.
Note that some components of the compensation plan require payment of either the Travel Executive (an additional $99) or Travel Ambassador membership (an additional $1599) in order to increase commissions payable.
Before we get into the boatload of red flags present in Destination Travel Resorts, let me preface by stating that the cashback side of the business is solid.
It costs nothing to join and after travel is booked, Travelocity pay CashBackBookings (seperate review here) who then split a percentage of this commission with you.
Why the relationship between CashBackBookings and Destination Travel Resorts is not openly disclosed however I have no idea.
Destination Travel Resorts builds on the cashback side of things by introducing an entirely membership funded MLM component to the opportunity.
First and foremost is the red flag wherein monthly affiliate fees are used to pay commissions via the unified payline. The affiliate fee charged serves no purpose other than to enable affiliates to participate in the compensation plan (with anyone who doesn’t pay this fee being regarded as a “customer”).
Looking at the Travel Executive and Travel Ambassador membership options, things only get worse. Outside of the MLM side of things, there’s nothing wrong with these membership options from an affiliate standpoint.
Introduce an MLM compensation plan and all of a sudden you’ve got commissionable membership that merely provides access to third-party services that is paid out monthly.
You join Destination Travel Resorts, pay your $29.99 (ideally you’d purchase either the Travel Executive or Travel Ambassador membership too so your upline earns a sizeable commission) and then recruit others who do the same.
No product or service is being sold to retail customers and what you wind up is one big affiliate funded pyramid scheme paying out monthly commissions from affiliate revenue.
The more affiliates pay themselves (Travel Ambassador membership) the more they earn, and the more their recruited affiliates pay, the higher the commissions generated.
There is of course a retail side to the business but let’s face it, when you’re talking $1599 for replicated travel services (Destination Travel Resorts does not have an exclusive affiliate agreement with Travelocity, anyone can apply for it), $29.95 to earn downline commissions is obviously priced as such for a reason.
Purely as a cashback scheme (which is what John Bolton’s MOR Vacations seems to have been) there’s no issues with Dream Style Vacations. The bulk of the compensation plan and strong gearing towards recruitment of affiliates and commissions payable out of their monthly membership fees however, pretty much guarantees Destination Travel Resorts will wind up being yet another recruitment driven MLM travel opportunity.
Offering retail commissions is definitely a step up from the bulk of MLM travel companies who simply pocket this money themselves, however it’s not enough. The retail side of the business has to actually be relevant and not completely overshadows by the affiliate funded revenue streams and commissions paid out.
Given the track record of travel club MLM companies, I’d be extremely wary of the long-term sustainability of Destination Travel Resorts.