People are wired to care about credentials. In fact, competency assessment has been around since medieval times when guilds, or associations, were created so skilled craftsmen could pass on their knowledge to apprentices. Consumers began to look for a craftsman’s guild emblem to ensure consistency and confidence in workmanship. For tradesmen, this emblem was an honor that brought prestige and financial benefits.
Similarly, today’s traveler prefers a skilled, educated travel professional. Certification through The Travel Institute ensures (1) you have the skills, accomplishments, and experience needed to succeed as a travel professional and (2) you easily can showcase your expertise to others.
So, just how do you do that?
First of all, earning your CTA®, CTC®, or CTIE® credentials from The Travel Institute is challenging. So, take a moment to celebrate your new level of expertise. Okay, done! Now realize that, unless you market yourself, the value of your hard-earned certification is unnecessarily limited. Just as critical as earning certification is putting energy into marketing it to your personal and professional network. The first step is activating your Digital Credentials, an online validation tool that confirms your certification, which you can learn about here.
We are excited to introduce this new tool, designed to help you build awareness of your certification and the value it represents to your clients. It keeps your certification alive and visible throughout all your digital consumer touchpoints. In addition, The Travel Institute developed an online Certified Graduates Toolkit—including sample news release templates—dedicated to helping graduates “market” their certification to maximize its value.
Amy Shapiro, CTA, Wave Goodbye Vacations LLC, said:
I love this benefit from TTI!! I’ve added it to all my signature lines! Thank you to whoever thought of and put into action this idea!
And Kim Specht, CTIE, Ensemble Travel Group, told us:
I have always included my certifications and credentials from the Travel Institute in my signature and badges, etc. I worked hard for those! They are important to me because they recognize me and the work and education I have put into being a travel professional. I think this is especially important in today’s travel industry because it shows commitment and dedication to the industry. If you are truly committed to being a travel professional, you have to do the work. You can’t just say you are a doctor or lawyer without the training and education. That’s what the Travel Institute does: it provides you with training and education, and I now have the credentials and certifications that recognize that commitment.
But note that marketing is more than simply telling clients “I’m certified.” Rather, it’s about creating a story around that milestone. It’s about telling the world that earning your new elite status as a certified travel professional demonstrates your commitment to life-long learning and your commitment to clients who will be better served because of your increased knowledge, experience, and skills.
One of our recent graduates, Mark Meikle, CTA, The Travel Agent Next Door, summed it up perfectly:
Since joining the travel industry, I have been constantly learning the many facets of travel; however, the CTA course I took was the most educational and informative for me to further my travel career. The designation of being a Certified Travel Associate validates me as a true professional in the travel industry who is dedicated to serving my clients to give them the best travel experience possible.
You’ve worked hard to be your best and to set yourself apart from the masses. Certification marketed well elevates your value, tells your story and appeals to your clients’ need to be associated with the very best.
Another graduate from The Travel Institute, Zac Wilson, CTA, Daydream Vacations LLC, incorporated these concepts into creating his story. He told us:
Lately, there has been an increase in “Travel Agents” in my small town. I have changed my marketing message to focus on my credentials, specifically my CTA and my ACC (soon to be MCC this year). My opening line is “In the growing industry of Travel Agents and Travel Agency Franchises, there is a popular phrase … ‘No Experience Necessary.’ But you deserve better. I’m a Certified Travel Associate and a CLIA Certified Cruise Counselor. The worst time and place to discover that the details of your trip have been mismanaged is while you’re on vacation.”
If you’ve already earned your CTA®, CTC®, or CTIE® from The Travel Institute, log in to discover how to activate your credentials and then market them to your clients. This is how you demonstrate how valuable you are. To learn more, join Guida Botelho in NEW Marketing Tools that Set You Apart! webinar on August 8 at 2:30 pm EDT.