Much of the world is at an unprecedented standstill with COVID-19, and this situation remains fluid. We can’t predict the future, but we do know that travel professionals are resilient and will recover. As things slow down, many of us are likely to be left with unfamiliar, quiet office days before travel rebounds. How we manage through these days will make an important difference for us as individuals, and for our travel industry, long after the crisis has passed. Now more than ever, we are committed to doing what we do best: provide timely, relevant and accurate education on topics that advance your knowledge and skills. And so, in an effort to help you:
- The Travel Institute is offering its Business Planning learning module free of charge on our home page through April 15. You plan for clients all the time, and now you may have time to plan for yourself. From client databases and testimonials, to marketing and communication plans, skill development, relationship building and more, you will learn how to analyze your current situation, plan for future opportunities, identify and set goals, and develop plans to achieve those goals.
- The Travel Institute is also supporting you with expanded, complimentary educational webinars on a variety of topics through April. Topics include networking best practices when you can’t leave home, marketing via Facebook, tips on staying productive during downtime, romance travel being more than honeymoons and destination weddings, and more. Check the webinar calendar on our home page daily as new topics are added, based on needs and requests.
Clearly, many travel professionals are also dealing with a myriad of personal and family concerns that must take priority. For those who have time, here are a few more proactive ideas to ready yourself and your travel business for an eventual rebound:
- Keep Networking. While we are practicing social distance, our world is built for easy, virtual connections. Join Facebook groups with your host agency, consortia, agency, The Travel Institute, and other travel professional communities to support each other through this. Give as much as you get. With clients, learn how to livestream, blog or podcast short 10-minute destination clips and other strategies to keep clients engaged.
- Connect with your suppliers and gain or refresh your knowledge on those products you have been wanting to sell.
- Start and/or Finish Certification. For those who need more time, you likely have it right now. If the CTA designation is your goal, join the private study group on Facebook so that you have a network of support as you focus on this goal.
- If You Have a Team. Take a proactive assessment of current capabilities. Who needs training? What needs organizing? What processes can be improved? What can be done to improve business?
- Consider Specialist Training. While travelers are not traveling much now, soon many will be eager to take the trips they postponed. Be sure you are armed with the geographic, product, and niche education you will need to service them. Immerse yourself in destinations you have been interested in learning about. Take the time to discover what you’re most passionate about in travel and pursue it.
- Organize your thoughts. From travel insurance plans to alternate destinations to the specifics of a country your travelers found themselves in while in need, how could you use the knowledge gained during this experience to better serve your clients in the future?
- Start a routine. If you’re working from home, set your alarm and plan your day as usual. Get dressed and take appointments, even if by phone.
- Feel the support. Yes, we are in this together. There are people behind those corporate messages in your inbox. We are here too, and at The Travel Institute that means Diane, Brian, Carla, Carolyn, Guida, Lisa, Pat, Patty, Rich, Shannon, Steven, Suzanne, Taylor, and Vanessa. Let us know how you are doing and if you have additional tips or advice for peers.
The Travel Institute offers education that advances travel professionals anytime, everywhere. Continuing to develop and deliver that education is how we will best support you during this challenging time. Explore our training options while you have the unexpected time to do so. Our mission is your success and, together, we will navigate this challenge to become more capable than ever for our industry and for the traveling public.