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What:Beginning this month, advisors interested in becoming Certified Travel Associates (CTAs) through The Travel Institute will have to pass an updated and expanded curriculum. Although previous graduates completed the program after passing eight core courses and four electives, students who are currently enrolled will now need to complete 15 self-paced courses. The material varies by topic and is divided into two categories: professional skills or practical skills.
Why It Matters:Although the expanded curriculum may take more time to complete, the benefits of this investment will surely be valuable for agents looking to improve themselves professionally, stay relevant in a competitive and ever-changing industry and remain up to date with the latest business initiatives and trends. What’s more, new learning activities and exercises — including quizzes in each module — provide a fresh and engaging take on the material.
Fast Facts:- Professional Skills Modules include: Business Ethics, Business Writing Skills, Customer-Focused Selling, Customer Service, The Art of Listening and Communicating, Teamwork, Time Management and Understanding Customer Needs.
- Practical Skills Modules include: How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud, Planning Itineraries, Selling All-Inclusive Resorts, Selling Escorted Vacations, Selling Special Interest Travel, Touring the World and Travel Insurance.
- New topics, such as “Netiquette” will be added to updated, existing content.
- The curriculum was developed with the help of hired industry experts well-versed in the subject matter.
- In order to pass and receive CTA certification, advisors must score at least 70 percent or higher on a 50-question multiple-choice proctored exam that also includes five short essay questions.
- The price of the certification is $399, which includes online materials and a testing fee. A print program is $499, and payment plans are available.
- A virtual study workshop is available at an extra cost.
What They Are Saying:“Today’s agency environment and what’s required of a travel professional is so different from what it was a decade ago — even just a couple years ago,” said Diane Petras, COO of The Travel Institute. “So, in keeping true to our mission, The Travel Institute is responding to ‘the changing face of travel’ in all that we do, with the new CTA curriculum as one of our flagship initiatives and commitments to giving back to the industry in 2017 and beyond.”
“During the development stage, we evaluated each module with fresh eyes, sitting down as a travel adviser and asking ourselves, ‘How will this help me be the best frontline travel professional I can be?’ After careful thought we decided that each topic was essential to one’s success,” said Guida Botelho, director of training for The Travel Institute.