Back to School

Agents should stay at least one step ahead of clients regarding education on travel industry developments By: Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro

Last week, I attended Apple Vacations’ Golden Apple Awards in Chicago. The awards dinner was held at the Art Institute of Chicago, and it was a truly top-notch event. One of the great things about awards such as these is that they give suppliers extra incentive to provide the best experiences for guests. At the same time, they educate agents on which properties and destinations they can wholeheartedly recommend to their clients. If a property is a Golden Apple or Crystal Apple Award winner, an agent can feel especially confident booking it.

Keeping up with travel awards is just one part of an overall education process for agents. These days, travel agents know that their customers are doing their own research long before they decide to book. So in order to show their expertise, agents need to be one step ahead when it comes to educating themselves on industry developments.

At TravelAge West, we vow to do our part to help with this process. Just about every issue from now until the end of the year will feature some sort of bonus supplement or extra educational component for our readers. In this issue, you can check out the Insider Guide: South Pacific, which features great information on the latest trends in the region as well as supplier offerings. Next issue, look for the fall edition of Family Getaways, our award-winning family travel supplement. Then there is the Insider Guide: Europe; followed by our fourth installment of Explorer, which covers experiential and soft-adventure travel. After that, keep an eye out for our annual River Cruise Manual and our look at the year ahead, the Spotlight issue.

In addition, agents can go online to access our Nexus platforms on a wide range of topics, as well as to participate in other custom webinars, including Travel to the South Pacific on Sept. 17, at 11 a.m. (Pacific). You can register for the webinar at Also of note are our “Better Business” and “Travel Agent Talk” Web series, which profile innovative travel advisors and other successful business leaders, and our new blog feature “Been There, Do This,” in which we share specific destination tips with agents.

With so much going on, it truly is back to school time for agents, and at TravelAge West, class is always in session.