If you’re reading this, there’s a 99.9% chance that you LOVE travel and everything there is to do with it. Our guess is that you love it so much, you want to make it your business! We understand (because we did too). As a travel advisor, you get to help people create some of the happiest moments of their lives, memories that will turn into stories they tell their grandchildren. What better way to spend your days than to plan travel, and make a living off it?
As magical as this sounds, (and it is) you’ll need to gain your future clients’ trust when it comes to the ins and outs travel industry. Think of it this way: would you go to an auto body shop knowing that their main mechanic wasn’t trained in how to fix cars? Unless you want your vehicle to look worse than when it arrived, not a chance.
To gain customer confidence you’ll need to show your aptitude for learning the ins and outs of the travel industry and becoming an expert in your field. Since the pandemic, one thing is certain: travelers have questions – and lots of them. Your job as an adventure advisor is to know the answers to these questions, rid the travel caution and create a seamless experience for your clients.
So, what if you’re new to the travel industry? Where do you start to become the travel expert? That’s where travel agent education programs come in, the first step to becoming a successful business owner in an ever-changing industry. Read on to learn the answers to the most common questions about education programs, why your business will benefit from enrolling and all you need to know about Avoya’s education platform: Travel Agent Education Powered by Avoya.
1. Why do I need a travel agent education?
There’s no doubt about it, planning travel is fun, but there is much more that goes into being a travel advisor than meets the eye. Not only will a travel agent education program serve as your pathway for industry certification, but it’s also your ticket to a strong foundation in the travel industry; the sturdy entrepreneurial base that you will build a thriving travel business on. Plus, if you’re thinking about joining a host agency, many require previous experience or travel education certification.
Avoya Tip: Debating whether you should join a host agency? Check out our blog: Your Travel Business: Don’t Go it Alone to learn the benefits of affiliating with a travel partner.
2. Can I affiliate with a host agency without education?
With some, you can. However, several require experience or travel education certification. If you know that you’d like to reap the benefits of partnering with a travel network, you’re more than likely going to need proof of industry experience/education. Like any industry, if your goal is to become an expert, you’ll need to begin by learning the basics to develop your confidence and knowledge. The first step to becoming an expert in the travel industry is to earn an industry-recognized certification.
3. Will my clients care that I’m certified?
Short answer, yes! Learning on the fly, without any type of education, can be costly for both the travel advisor and the consumer. Gina Hoyt, Director of Avoya Education Platform, previously an experienced travel advisor, attests to this statement after 25+ years of industry experience: “What happens when an advisor books an Alaska Cruise and someone in the traveling party has a DUI on their record from 10 years ago and is denied boarding at the port? Why? This sailing stops in Canada, and Canada considers this a felony and can deny entry.” Believe it or not, this was a real-life lesson that Gina learned during her early years of being a travel advisor, costing her $750 to rectify the situation. “Had I known more about the industry, what to look for, what to know, this mistake could have been avoided,” says Gina. Although travel agent education programs may not prepare you for every detail you will ever encounter, they teach the importance of knowing the details, questions to ask, what to consider and where to look.
So, will your clients know the industry importance of your travel agent certification like you will? Maybe not. But will they thank you for planning, executing and getting them home safely from their greatest vacation ever? Absolutely.
4. How can I get certified and started in the travel industry?
We’re so glad you asked. Many host agencies and travel companies offer travel agent education for those new to the industry, but what’s the difference between them all? Many of those who offer education gear their programs towards their agency, specializing in specific areas of the travel industry, not as a whole. That’s where Travel Agent Education Powered by Avoya comes in. The coursework offered by Travel Agent Education Powered by Avoya offers the most dynamic and comprehensive travel advisor curriculum available, built to fully prepare you for a travel industry-recognized certificate. Once you complete the program, you will be able to schedule and take the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP®) exam offered by The Travel Institute. Plus, we cover the $95 exam fee for you! This certification, recognized industry-wide, verifies professional knowledge, preparedness and demonstrates industry proficiency.
This comprehensive program includes 35-40 hours of self-paced coursework, dedicated support from known travel industry leaders and experts with over 100+ years of combined industry experience, as well as preparation for the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP®) exam offered by The Travel Institute.
PLUS, once the TAP® exam has been completed and passed, gain membership for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Future Travel Professional membership (a combined $200+ value).
Membership for Cruise Lines International Association includes CLIA EMBARC ID, access to comprehensive professional development and training, cruise line and partner commission opportunities and exclusive personal travel perks and discounts! Individual Agent Membership also opens the door for you to pursue and achieve your CLIA Certification.
ASTA is the world’s leading association of travel professionals and is the global advocate for travel agencies, the travel industry and the traveling public. They champion ethical and traveler-friendly practices and policies at every level of government and throughout the travel and hospitality industry. Their members are all bound by a shared code of ethics.
Not to mention, take $100 off your Avoya Network™ affiliation fee if you complete the coursework, take and pass the TAP® exam and join the Avoya Network within 60 days of registering for the program.
6. I’m ready! When can I start?
We’re thrilled to invite you on your most exciting and rewarding adventure yet with Avoya Travel. With Travel Agent Education Powered by Avoya, you will be completely prepared to begin your journey as a travel professional. Not only will you have the solid foundation built to propel your travel business forward, but you’ll also find confidence in your ability to provide the best service to your clients. It’s true, the travel industry is calling your name! Let’s begin building your dream and developing your foundation for success together. Visit www.AvoyaNetwork.com or call 1-888-425-6078 to start the conversation!