Worldspan, ICTA Team for Agent Training

GDS’ subscribers can accrue continuing-education credits toward CTC certification

By: David Peterkofsky

Worldspan has announced a partnership with the Institute of Certified Travel Agents in which ICTA will administer Worldspan’s e-Learning education programs for the GDS’ agents through its Global Learning Center Web site.

The e-Learning programs include Web-based, instructor-led virtual classes that teach agents how better to use Worldspan’s array of products. The site also offers self-paced tutorials and online discussion forums in which agents can post questions and receive answers from Worldspan product experts.

The new partnership, according to Worldspan, will also give agents access to ICTA’s own educational and certification programs and specialized training courses. Starting in the first quarter of 2003, ICTA will be host to a number of e-Learning sessions online, with participating agents phoning in to conference calls at the appointed time and viewing Web-based presentations that use PowerPoint graphics.

The partnership came about because two companies share a common goal of helping agents stay competitive in the marketplace, noted Pat Gagnon, CTC, director of program development for ICTA.

This is not the first time ICTA has worked directly with a GDS on a training program. It previously offered a similar service to Sabre subscribers.

“We have a precedent for doing this,” Gagnon said, adding that it was Worldspan who approached ICTA about bolstering the online educational offerings in its Global Learning Center. “This is something that, as we go forward, we’d like to do with other GDS vendors.”

ICTA and Worldspan are not strangers to one another: Worldspan is a Platinum Level sponsor of ICTA, meaning it makes a donation of $125,000 to the institute every five years. And since 1999, ICTA has accredited the Worldspan Expert Program, an education program for advanced Worldspan users. Worldspan agents can earn continuing-education credits toward their CTC certification by participating in the Expert Program.

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