From the Desk of Guida Botelho CTIE, Director of Education 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a little extra pep in my step. That’s because I’m seeing the tide turn in our industry. Every day, I’m hearing from you that you are getting busier, the phones are ringing, the emails are coming, and ships are starting to navigate the seas again, and all of this brings tears of joy. I’ve been in this industry for 22 years, and the past year has been simply heart wrenching. So, here’s to all of you for hanging in there!

Many things changed over the past year. Difficult decisions were made by all of you. Some of those decisions you can’t wait to reverse, but some you will keep forever. A very wise person once told me: “In the midst of hardship, there always is opportunity.” You just have to be patient.

One of the opportunities I’m seeing is the resurgence of new talent joining our amazing world of travel, as well as renewed dedication to professional growth. Some of you reading this message are our industry’s new talent, while others are looking for new talent to join their organization.

So, what do you need to jumpstart your travel business and career? Whether you are just now joining this industry, or you are a manager looking for new talent, the first step MUST be education. We no longer can expect product and supplier knowledge to be enough for a frontline sales agent to succeed. As industry professionals, we must ensure that our industry remains bright and strong. That is why The Travel Institute is proud to offer you the single most-comprehensive introductory training program in the retail travel industry: the TRIPKITSM. The new TRIPKIT ONLINE course provides an accessible, seamless learning experience that coaches new agents with the knowledge and know-how they need to succeed.

TRIPKIT provides the foundation of travel knowledge by covering the five sectors of travelAir, Ground Transportation, Accommodations, Tours and Packages, and Cruises—plus the key to selling travel: Geography. If that isn’t enough, we deep dive into customer service, sales, marketing, and business skills, all of which are critical to being a successful travel professional. The program is curated with a 19-lesson, self-paced study plan, including a series of 13 interviews with industry experts who bring the course to life with real-world experience. Upon completion, students will take the industry-recognized Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAP®, exam.

Why is this program important? In my 22 years in this industry, I’ve learned that those who commit to learning the industry FIRST are the most successful and have higher earning potential. You never would expect to be a success without proper training in any industry, and that is especially true in the complicated, fast-paced travel industry.

Does TRIPKIT take the place of your training with a host agency? Absolutely not. It provides the bedrock foundation that allows you to better assimilate training from your host.

How can I learn more about the TRIPKIT? You can attend the Preparing for a Career in Travel webinar presented by Patty Noonan, CTC, on April 28th at 1:00 pm eastern.

As an owner or manager reading this article, did you know we have a list of TRIPKIT graduates on our website? If you are looking for new talent that is educated and ready, start here. And, if you are starting a training program to attract new talent, join our session so you, too, can discover how the TRIPKIT will help you create a stronger sales force!

I hope you now can see why I have some extra pep in my step these days. I see so many opportunities for all of us to grow from the past year’s experience and become stronger travel professionals. The entire team at The Travel Institute continues to work hard every day to make sure you have access to the best education possible throughout your travel career; it’s up to YOU to take advantage of it!