As a travel professional, you are expected to have insider information on many travel destinations. It can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t visited the region but still must craft itineraries that include key landmarks, attractions, and local dining and shopping. 

You have many resources for destination research: firsthand knowledge, colleagues, social media, the internet, etc. One of the most reliable resources available to you is the library of programs from The Travel Institute. Today’s Tip specific to Australia is taken from a myriad of courses from our Certified Travel Associate (CTA®) program. We hope you enjoy it! 

Australia is very popular with North American travelers due to its cultural similarities, the lifestyles of its residents, its sophisticated cities, and ease of travel (although driving is on the left). 

Australia has six states and two territories. More than 80 percent of the population lives in the state and territorial capitals. All but one of the cities—the federal capital, Canberra—are on the coast, as close as possible to a good harbor. Each is the airport gateway to its region.

Here are some highlights of An Introduction to Australia Itinerary:

Sydney—Sydney is the largest metropolitan area in Australia and boasts one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. Harbor cruises are the best way to become familiar with the city and its beautiful skyline. Some must-sees include the following:

    • Sydney Opera House is a building of unusual sweeping design on the waterfront that has become the symbol of the entire country.
    • Sydney Harbour Bridge, the world’s largest steel arch bridge; visitors can climb to the summit for spectacular views of the harbor.  
    • Kings Cross is the energetic entertainment center in the city; relatively safe all hours of day and night.
    • Darling Harbor is a smaller section off the main harbor that contains a huge shopping complex, restaurants, and the Sydney Aquarium.
    • The Rocks is Sydney’s oldest neighborhood with original buildings now renovated into galleries, restaurants, and pubs.
    • Bondi and Manly are popular public beaches that are easily accessible by train and ferry from downtown.
    • Blue Mountains tour is a one-day excursion from Sydney that offers sweeping, dramatic scenery, much like the Grand Canyon in the United States. The highlight is the towering sandstone rock formations called the Three Sisters. Other highlights include the Katoomba Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest, which whisks passengers down the Jamison Valley through a cliff-side tunnel into an ancient rainforest; and the Skyway, Scenic Cableway, and Scenic Walkway, which all offer elevated views of the dense forests. The mountains are close to Hunter Valley, known for its wine and food.

The Great Barrier Reef—This 1,250-mile stretch of coral reefs, cays, and islands offers some of the world’s best diving, snorkeling, and fishing; located along the north-eastern coast of Australia, with many fine resorts and lodging available.

The Gold Coast—Another popular resort area along the eastern coast, this is considered to be the Miami Beach of Australia, with busy beaches and large resorts.

The Outback—The sparsely populated interior of Australia, largely desert and dry grassland, makes up more than three-quarters of the island-continent’s landmass. Among the many sites located here is Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), a sacred area for the Aborigines. It is a majestic stone outcropping that rises 1,000 feet and is six miles in diameter and is, in fact, the world’s largest single rock. Uluru—located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the country. The striking red monolith is the centerpiece of the park.

Alice Springs—This fascinating frontier town is considered to be an oasis because it sits in the middle of the desert. 

Melbourne—Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city; its galleries, theaters, restaurants, shops, and its distinctly European feel are the main draws of the city.

Your expertise—paired with your education—will help you curate the perfect experience for your clients’ Australian adventure.

While it is important to have product knowledge from all of the suppliers you sell, it’s critical to have true destination knowledge. At The Travel Institute, we continuously update our content, in particular, our Destination information. You will find it across all of our programs. If you are just starting out, our TRIPKITSM includes an entire digital textbook called Exploring the World. If you are considering CTA certification, we offer two modules in particular: Touring the World and Planning Itineraries. And, if you are looking for only one or two specific destinations, our Premium Library is the best resource you will have at your fingertips.

As you can see, YOUR professional development is OUR top priority. 

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The Travel Institute, Inc. (TTI) is an educational organization that was incorporated on November 12, 1964 as a Washington, D.C. nonprofit corporation.  TTI is organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes, developing, and providing educational programs and materials relating to domestic and international travel for the general public, educational institutions and travel professionals.