‘New Year New Career’ campaign begins another year focused on new agent success.
FRAMINGHAM, MA – Celebrating a banner 2019, The Travel Institute announces 2020 priorities and its New Year New Career campaign with continued emphasis on educating new agents entering the industry. “Increased recognition that trained travel professionals are critical to our industry’s long-term success is both a challenge and an opportunity our industry is seizing,” shared Diane Petras, CTIE, president, The Travel Institute.
The challenge, Petras explained, is that the industry’s “no experience necessary” response to an increased demand for agents attracted new talent over the past several years but also resulted in an increased number of novice agents employed, generating unintended costs in terms of productivity levels, increased liability given critical mistakes, and eroded consumer trust.
“The good news is that these unintended costs have led to a renewed appreciation for the value of agent education and a real opportunity for our industry to continuously ensure agents have the foundation they need for ongoing consumer success,” Petras said. She explained this renewed emphasis on agent education started in 2015 with individuals, agencies and suppliers alike, citing The Travel Institute’s explosive 32 percent year-over-year growth that year and continued year-over-year momentum each year since, including an estimated 20 percent growth for 2019. “It started in 2015 and it hasn’t stopped,” Petras said, noting increased appreciation for agent education is also evident in steadily climbing adoption rates for its digital credentials tool, in leadership dialogue throughout the industry, and in growing trade and mainstream media coverage highlighting the importance of education and certification through The Travel Institute.
“We believe investing in learning creates quality agents with a much greater opportunity to be successful for themselves and for their travelers,” said Rhonda Stanley, CTC, vice president of talent development at The Travel Agent Next Door. “We are delighted to partner with The Travel Institute ongoing for the educational tools that enable that success,” she continued.
Kicking off 2020, The Travel Institute’s New Year New Career campaign is aligned with industry needs, focused on new agent training and specialization in continued support of new agents entering the travel industry and experienced advisors continuing to learn. During Q1 2020, members and non-members benefit from complimentary training webinars including “Preparing For A Travel Career,” providing a roadmap for industry newcomers and inexperienced agents looking to jumpstart their career in travel and offers a brief overview of the formal TRIPKitSM (1) course, plus “how to” advice for relationship building, working with Sabre GDS and exploring specialist career options, along with access to the weekly newsletter with new business ideas.
“Looking to 2020, I see only continued momentum,” Petras said, citing graduate feedback, a growing number of partnerships with industry organizations and educational institutions, and increased speaking engagements. In addition, a recently released survey from The United States Tour Operators Association, USTOA, found 84 percent of operators use travel advisors and nearly all anticipate agent bookings will continue or grow in 2020.
The global leader in travel industry education, The Travel Institute had two major launches in 2019: 1) Digital Credentials, a marketplace differentiator that helps graduates of its CTA, CTC and CTIE programs showcase their expertise digitally and 2) an Interactive Learning Platform to help travel industry students learn and retain more. These two initiatives are now the foundation for the organization’s 2020 priorities, including:
- the next evolution of Digital Credentials to ensure traveling consumers can most easily identify and access certified graduates from The Travel Institute to maximize their travel budget and experience. “People are wired to care about credentials and today’s travelers prefer a travel professional who is proven to be educated and skilled,” said Guida Botelho, CTIE, director of training, The Travel Institute.
- an ambitious content plan including updates for the CTA, CTC and CTIE programs; Destination and Niche, or Lifestyle, specialist courses; and TRIPKit curriculum; along with new content for Premium Access members.
Crediting her passionate and dedicated team for The Travel Institute’s momentum, Petras is privileged to have a “bird’s eye view” as the industry works together to enhance travel professionals’ value: “I am thrilled that both students and industry leaders recognize the need to ensure agent value AND that they see The Travel Institute as mission critical in doing just that.”
(1) TRIPKit has long been recognized as the industry’s gold standard for new agent training. It is a self-guided course with online and print components used by individuals studying independently, agency owners and managers training new staff, and post-secondary vocational institutions teaching travel-related curriculum. A turn-key, affordable and flexible educational tool, TRIPKit helps create the career path for potential travel advisors by providing a comprehensive overview of booking air, ground, accommodations, cruises, tours and packages while also exposing potential new agents to numerous other nuances in booking travel today. Often, TRIPKit is the first step toward industry certification.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.