Agent Career still appeals amid Fluctuating Travel Demand
The Travel Institute emphasizes Critical Need for New Agents to be Trained
FRAMINGHAM, MA, October 4, 2021 – 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. 1
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.”
TRIPKIT has long been recognized as the travel industry’s gold standard for new agent training, addressing six critical areas of travel expertise: air, ground transportation, accommodations, tours, cruises and geography, while also addressing sales and marketing concepts and exposing new agents to booking nuances for both the U.S. and Canadian travel markets. It is an online, self-guided course 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 uses an interactive learning platform to help create an agent career path and often is the first step toward industry certification.
About The Travel Institute
A collaborative industry effort created in 1964, The Travel Institute has continuously evolved to maintain its role as the global leader in industry education and certification while staying true to its mission: dedicated solely to advancing the professionalism of both agents and industry leaders in support of individual and industry success. A non-profit, independent organization, The Travel Institute also works with leaders throughout the industry to create and deliver relevant, meaningful and rigorous coursework. Using exclusive proctored, closed-book testing to ensure its graduates earn credentials that demonstrate the highest standards of expertise and service, The Travel Institute has certified more than 26,000 Certified Travel Associate (CTA®), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC®), and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE®) graduates and also administers the Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAPSM, exam to confirm students new to the industry demonstrate a mastery of travel industry basics. A trusted partner to industry suppliers and educational institutions, The Travel Institute has trained hundreds of thousands more through additional courses, webinars, and in its online Premium Access Lounge for members. Throughout North America, many successful agents and high-profile leaders credit their success to coursework from The Travel Institute. Learn more at The Travel Institute.