Travel agent’s guide to continuing education

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As we move past two difficult years of the pandemic, there is hope that 2022 will be a better year – if not a banner year – for the travel industry. As travel stopped, many travel counselors turned to online training courses to further their knowledge. It is important to enter into a busy year so that you do not forget or put aside these educational opportunities. For those who wish to continue to develop their knowledge in industry, business and travel, here are some of the best places to find courses.

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The travel institute

The Travel Institute is a great place to expand your travel knowledge. Travel counselors can earn advanced certification through the Travel Institute with the credentials of Certified Travel Associate, CTA, Certified Travel Counselor, CTC, or Certified Travel Industry Executive, CTIE. They also offer destination training, niche and destination marketing courses, and business and financial planning courses.

Academy of Travel Agents

Travel Agent Academy offers a wealth of in-depth training opportunities for travel counselors. Courses often offer certification to confirm the agent is an expert on a specific subject as well as education credits and / or rewards through loyalty programs upon completion. There are currently over three dozen courses available on the platform, which is easy to use.

With Travel Agent Academy, an advisor can become a Chile Travel Expert or Costa Rican Specialist, learn everything there is to know about Denmark through Denmark Travel Online Training, enroll in the Key Lime Academy to explore Key West or attend Wellness Travel University. .

ASTA Education

Travel counselors should always look to their national trade association for training opportunities. The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) offers a variety of live and virtual events that provide travel counselors with the opportunity to expand their knowledge.

At the ASTA Global Convention, there are opportunities to learn about new trends, marketing, destination training, business operations, sales and more. Next year’s convention is August 24-26 in San Francisco.

ASTA also offers a number of onsite learning opportunities in destinations around the world. Coming in 2022, the ASTA Global River Cruise Expo in Budapest, the ASTA Travel Masters in St. Andrews and the ASTA Latin America Showcase in Costa Rica.

Suppliers brief advisors on new products at ASTA 2021. (Photo by Theresa Norton)

For travel counselors who want to learn more about specific cruises, check out the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The association offers a number of continuing education programs to improve the knowledge of travel counselors in cruising and sales.

Their online course catalog includes courses in best practices, virtual vessel inspections, customer retention, converting leads to customers, sales, customer service, and business management.

CLIA also offers certificate programs for Family Cruises, Public Relations, Luxury Cruises, Accessible Cruises, Specialty Cruises and Shops, Meetings and Events at Sea.

Host agency and consortia

Travel counselors who are members of a hospitality agency and / or consortium have a number of educational opportunities to choose from. Most offer initial training opportunities but also offer continuing education in addition to marketing and sales support. Annual conferences and virtual events can be valuable resources for travel counselors who want to learn more about trends, destinations, supplier partners, marketing tools, and more.

Educational opportunities for learning

Sometimes your further education doesn’t have to come from the travel industry itself. There are a number of educational outlets that offer business training, sales training, and even simple inspiration for those who feel stuck in a rut.

Travel counselors should not overlook courses on Coursera, Google Career Certificates, MasterClass, and TedTalk as they can be good resources for various types of courses to deepen knowledge on a variety of topics.

Networking at an event
Networking at an event. (photo via gremlin / getty images)

Virtual and in-person events

Host agencies and consortia spent a lot of time during the pandemic working to deliver a variety of virtual events instead of in-person events, and the result was many more educational opportunities offered in addition to the annual conferences in direct and in person. Host agencies and consortia can be a great resource for continuing education and training.

Practical experience

When selling travel-related products, one of the best ways to make sure you book the best experiences, hotels, and destinations is to visit them in person. FAM trips are a great way to experience all that clients will experience when they are there. A good resource for finding available trips is Agent @ Home.


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