FRAMINGHAM, MA – The Travel Institute is reporting a 36% increase in TRIPKIT introductory training applicants this year over the same period during 2020. This influx of new students includes teachers, nurses, and individuals in other travel-related occupations as agent careers remain attractive despite fluctuations in travel demand and changing industry norms.
The new interest in travel agent careers is good news, based on a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics outlook and other recent reports indicating the role of the travel agent is becoming increasingly important to travelers who are looking for peace of mind in future bookings.
Diane Petras, CTIE, president, The Travel Institute, emphasized that while interest in the career grows, new agent education enrollment must grow across the industry as well. “As travelers ponder traveling, travel agents have an incredible window of opportunity to help guide them to decisions that enable safe and comfortable options. I cannot remember a time, or opportunity, since the advent of internet research and self-booking tools, that consumers wanted or needed professional support from our agents more,” she reflected.
While the industry doesn’t regulate agent education, Petras reiterated The Travel Institute’s long-standing role as the gold standard in agent education, including new agent training, and its Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAPSM, exam to confirm students demonstrate a mastery of travel industry basics as they set out to serve travelers. “New and inexperienced agents need both a solid understanding of industry basics and dynamics as well as a flexible mindset to serve travelers well and have a successful career in travel,” she explained, citing the industry’s continued evolving response around booking patterns and policies, covid-related procedures, available amenities, government restrictions, insurance, safe destinations, resources during travel, and more.
This fall, The Travel Institute is dedicating additional resources and funding to help those who need unbiased guidance in getting their career started. Free coaching webinars will include a look inside the course, as well as advice on career options and other resources.
Packing the equivalent of one year of college into the course, TRIPKIT ONLINE includes real-world agent experiences, industry terminology, and an introduction to the key areas of travel: Air, ground transportation, accommodations, tours, and packages and cruises, as well as sales and marketing, world geography, and advice for starting a successful independent contractor travel business. Recent updates include migration from a hybrid online/print learning model to fully online with a new interactive, self-paced study plan that truly delivers an immersive and flexible learning experience. Students who graduate from the program are recognized on The Travel Institute website.
“Whether you are new to the industry, a manager looking for new agent training, or a supplier looking to train call center staff, the first step should always be broad-based, foundational industry education,” explained Guida Botelho, CTIE, director of training for The Travel Institute, emphasizing the program is an inexpensive, anytime, anywhere, turnkey training solution for industry newcomers and that studies prove educated agents earn more and are more successful.
Those exploring a career in travel or seeking a new agent training solution for their team can visit The Travel Institute to learn more and are also invited to join a complimentary New to the Industry webinar, which includes a look inside the course, an overview of new agent education, and a roadmap for industry success.
“It’s really a ‘when-not-if’ scenario for the return of travel to pre-pandemic levels,” Petras remarked. “And when that happens, agent readiness and adaptability will be critical to our industry’s collective ability to support travelers. There is no time like the present for agents to demonstrate their value to travelers and there is no place like The Travel Institute to help ensure they are educated and able to do just that.”