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What:American Society of Travel Agent (ASTA) members can become ASTA Verified Travel Advisors thanks to a new online certification program — an initiative that was unveiled at the organization’s Global Convention late last month. The program includes nine educational courses on topics that range from “Advanced Public Speaking” and “Real World Sales Tactics” to “Ethics for Travel Advisors” and “Legal Overview for the Travel Agency Industry.”
Why It Matters:Unlike other certification programs that focus on individual suppliers or a specific travel niche, the Verified Travel Advisor certification program sets itself apart by offering a base knowledge of travel advisor issues while helping agents develop a set of specialized skills to grow their business. Additionally, this comprehensive program will add a layer of credibility to ASTA members, setting them apart from the competition in the minds of potential clients. Another added perk? Non-member advisors who sign up for the program will also receive ASTA membership for one year.
Fast Facts:- The certification program consists of nine courses: Advanced Public Speaking; Ethics for Travel Advisor; Legal Overview for the Travel Agency Industry; Marketing You! Promoting Your Value; Project Management and Planning for the Travel Advisor; Real World Sales Tactics; The Art and Science of Negotiation; Agency Relations and the Law; and U.S. Travel Agency Regulatory Compliance 3rd Edition.
- Most courses take approximately 90 minutes to complete, and include a manual, online video and exam.
- Advisors have up to one year to complete all the required courses.
- The course is available to ASTA members ($399 per person); nonmember independent travel advisors ($598 per person, includes a one-year ASTA membership); and nonmember travel advisors ($729 per person, includes ASTA agency membership for one year)
What They Are Saying:“Today's travel advisor needs to be knowledgeable on all aspects of the industry, including complex Department of Transportation regulations," said Matthew D. Upchurch, chairman and CEO for Virtuoso. "More importantly, though, is the advisor’s commitment to staying abreast of the many complexities in travel. At Virtuoso, training and education is a core principle and ASTA's new Verified Travel Advisor certification provides our advisors with training that complements Virtuoso’s own award-winning professional development program."