Interest in The Travel Institute’s New Agent Training Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Levels
Non-profit education leader again dedicates resources and funding to new travel agent training this fall
The Travel Institute is reporting interest in its new agent training program has surpassed pre-pandemic levels with a 78% increase in attendance for its introductory webinars in 2022 year-to-date over 2019 for the same period. In addition, enrollment in the nonprofit education leader’s TRIPKIT℠ introductory training course continue to climb across all markets including colleges, partner agencies, and individuals, further indicating continued broad interest in travel careers.
“Individuals at all stages and walks of life continue to recognize the opportunity to join the travel industry and to set themselves up for success with the right educational foundation when they do it,” shared Diane Petras, CTIE, president of The Travel Institute. To accommodate increased interest, The Travel Institute increased the number of live webinars available each month while also adding an on-demand option.
Petras also pointed to two recent, non-industry reports that further support the current career opportunity for aspiring new agents:
- US Travel Association’s forecast1 estimating $1.05 trillion USD will be spent on travel in the United States in 2022, up from $886 billion USD in 2021.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Outlook for travel agents 2 estimating travel agent employment is likely to grow 20 percent between 2021 – 2031 as the industry replaces thousands of agents who left over the past several years.
- “These non-industry reports demonstrate what our travel community has already been experiencing. Travelers are back and they want and need truly professional support. Travel agents able to provide that support are well-positioned for a rewarding and worthwhile career,” Petras asserted.
This fall, The Travel Institute is again dedicating resources and funding to help aspiring new agents who want unbiased, cost-effective guidance in getting their travel career started with TRIPKIT, the industry’s long-standing, gold standard in new travel agent education, along with complimentary coaching webinars, advice on travel career options, and other resources.
The equivalent of one year of college packed into an online, interactive, 19-module course with progress checks, TRIPKIT is self-paced to accommodate varying schedules. The curriculum focuses on real-world agent experiences, industry terminology, and a comprehensive overview of booking air, ground, accommodations, cruises, tours, and packages and numerous booking nuances, as well as interpersonal communications skills, sales and marketing best practices, world geography, and advice for starting a successful independent contractor travel business. TRIPKIT can be purchased directly from The Travel Institute and is also available through colleges and various partner organizations.
“TRIPKIT complements our Flight Centre training materials and ensures new members are up and running quickly with the foundation they need on the schedule they want,” shared Traci Bax, director of membership education and agent growth, Independent by Flight Centre. Bax said The Travel Institute has been “a big help,” creating and maintaining a custom education package to support the host agency’s new-to-the-industry members.
After completing TRIPKIT, students take the Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAPSM, exam to confirm mastery of travel industry basics. Recent TAP graduates are featured at Hire Me, enabling agency owners and suppliers to easily connect with educated, new talent. According to recent TAP graduates:
- “The materials were current and, with the clout The Travel Institute has, I’m confident starting my new career.” –Matthew Hughes
- “I have been in the travel business off and on for 10 years and didn’t know half of what I learned… I wouldn’t change a thing!” –Robert Staples
- If you want to start a career in travel, this is the best program!” –Juan Herrera
- “I was unsure about not attending a course in-person but I quickly realized TRIPKIT is a robust learning experience with valuable, detailed, well-constructed content. TRIPKIT gave me a good foundation AND confidence to take the next steps.” –Catherine Marucci
- “TRIPKIT is great… well worth the money you invest in yourself.” –Patti Kollar, CTA
While the travel industry does not set standards for agent education, Guida Botelho, CTIE, director of education for The Travel Institute, emphasized the value well-educated agents offer both consumers and colleagues. “Frontline agents are the face of our industry. For the consumer, travel agents facilitate their dream experience OR they don’t. Our singular mission is to advance travel professionals for travelers, for individual agents, and for the industry at large. For industry newcomers, we ensure the broad-based, foundational industry education and confidence they need to be successful from the start,” Botelho explained.
Those exploring a career in travel or seeking a new agent training solution for their team or students 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.
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.
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 27,000 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 Library 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.