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The Travel Institute Releases New TAP® Logo as Visual Mark of New Agent Proficiency Achievement

Industry-Recognized Credential Indicates Pre-vetted, Job-Ready New Agent Status


FRAMINGHAM, MA, October 3, 2023 – The Travel Institute has launched a new logo for its Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAP®, test, and is encouraging graduates to utilize it as a visual credential, affirming their job readiness and new industry skills while also encouraging employers to seek out these individuals who have demonstrated foundational industry knowledge and skills.


The Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAP®, test, assesses a new agent’s mastery of industry basics and is often the first step in travel professional recognition. A passing TAP score gives new agents a competitive edge, highlighting their professional development and instilling the confidence of colleagues and travelers alike. “We continue to answer the industry’s call for job-ready talent to support suppliers, agencies, and travelers. This new logo underscores our TAP graduates’ accomplishments and supports them in showcasing the skills they have worked hard to earn,” shared Diane Petras, CTIE, president of The Travel Institute, adding the logo also supports hiring agencies in more easily differentiating skilled new agents.


As widely reported, travel agents are in high demand post-pandemic, yet the industry’s agent shortage continues. Many agency owners struggle to fill this gap, finding it difficult to bring on new agents given the time involved in onboarding and teaching industry basics. According to The Changing Face of Travel Agents 2023 survey’s initial findings, 35% of travel agencies lost staff during the pandemic. Of those, 56% had not yet replaced the staff they lost despite increased demand for agent services.


Still, “Help is on the way,” emphasized Guida Botelho, CTIE, senior director of education for The Travel Institute, reiterating the non-profit is on track to train 5,000 new agents in 2023, more than double its usual annual number of industry newcomers. “And TAP graduates specifically are pre-vetted, saving owners significant time in the hiring process AND allowing them to focus on training for their own proprietary processes and procedures,” she explained.


The TAP test was initially launched in 1997 and organizations continue to recognize it today as a valuable vetting tool for aspiring travel professionals. “I am a big fan of the TAP test,” shared Steven Phillips, senior director, education and training with Travel Savers consortia, which utilizes a blended education program using The Travel Institute’s new to the industry curriculum as well as KORE, their own proprietary learning materials. According to Phillips, TAP has a higher level of credibility given its thoroughness and the fact that it’s proctored. “With so much to learn in travel, TAP confirms our new agents truly understand the ins and outs of how the travel industry functions starting out. The fact that our graduates are successfully selling travel is further proof of TAP’s value as we rebuild the industry’s foundation of skilled agents,” he continued.


Patty Kaupinis, director of talent acquisition and education for World Travel Inc., agreed TAP graduates benefit the industry, adding, “We partner with The Travel Institute to create entry-level corporate travel consultants, including utilizing the TAP test. We recognize the reputation of The Travel Institute; together, we are educating and molding the next generation of travel industry professionals.”


The TAP test is available to students utilizing The Travel Institute’s affordable introductory training program, TRIPKITSM, the industry’s gold standard in new agent education, as well as through partnerships with in-house agency training programs, and post-secondary education institutions. Recent TAP graduates are listed on The Travel Institute website and those TAP graduates who used TRIPKIT for training can be further identified at Hire Me if they are looking for employment or a host agency relationship, which enables agency owners and suppliers to easily connect with educated, pre-vetted new talent.


During October, The Travel Institute is dedicating tuition assistance funds and other resources to help aspiring new agents with unbiased, cost-effective guidance to start their travel career. Along with TRIPKIT tuition assistance, students can also take advantage of complimentary coaching webinars, advice on travel career options, and other resources from the industry’s non-profit education leader. The TRIPKIT course is the equivalent of one year of college packed into an online, interactive, 19-module course. The curriculum focuses on real-world agent experiences; industry terminology; a comprehensive overview of booking air, ground, accommodations, cruises, tours, and packages; as well as interpersonal communications skills, sales and marketing best practices, world geography, and advice for starting a successful independent contractor travel business. TRIPKIT can be purchased directly from The Travel Institute and is also available through colleges and various partner organizations.


“Our singular mission is to advance travel professionals through quality education and there are no shortcuts,” stressed Botelho. “We are focused on filling the industry gap with committed new agents equipped for the long-term.”


Those exploring a career in travel or seeking a new agent training solution for their team or students can visit The Travel Institute to learn more and are also invited to join a complimentary New to the Industry webinar, which includes a look inside the course, an overview of new agent education, and a roadmap for industry success.



About TAP®

The Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAP®, test, was developed in 1997 in collaboration with industry organizations as a comprehensive examination to assess the fundamental knowledge and competencies required to excel in a travel agent role. The only industry-wide, industry-recognized credential for new, entry-level travel professionals, the TAP test is the industry’s benchmark for measuring readiness for a travel agent career. Covering a wide range of topics related to the travel industry, including but not limited to: travel geography, travel regulations, travel products and services, customer service and skills, and travel industry trends, TAP is administered in a closed-book, proctored environment, ensuring a fair and standardized assessment. Achieving a passing score provides new travel agents with a competitive advantage in the job market, demonstrating both dedication to professional development and a commitment to excellence, while also instilling the confidence of colleagues and travelers alike. Many travel agencies and organizations recognize the TAP test as a valuable travel industry credential, significantly enhancing career prospects and opportunities for aspiring travel professionals.



TRIPKITSM has long been recognized as the travel industry’s gold standard for new agent training, addressing six critical areas of travel expertise: air, ground transportation, accommodations, tours, cruises and geography, while also addressing sales and marketing concepts and exposing new agents to booking nuances for both the U.S. and Canadian travel markets. It is an online, self-guided course used by individuals studying independently, agency owners and managers training new staff, and post-secondary vocational institutions teaching travel-related curriculum. A turn-key, affordable and flexible educational tool, TRIPKIT uses an interactive learning platform to help create an agent career path and often is the first step toward industry certification.


About The Travel Institute

A collaborative industry effort created in 1964, The Travel Institute has continuously evolved to maintain its role as the global leader in travel industry education and certification while staying true to its mission: dedicated solely to advancing the professionalism of both agents and industry leaders in support of individual and industry success. A non-profit, independent organization, The Travel Institute also works with leaders throughout the industry to create and deliver relevant, meaningful and rigorous coursework. Using exclusive proctored, closed-book testing to ensure its graduates earn credentials that demonstrate the highest standards of expertise and service, The Travel Institute has nearly 30,000 Certified Travel Associate (CTA®), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC®), and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE®) graduates and also administers the Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAP®, test to confirm students new to the industry demonstrate a mastery of travel industry basics. A trusted partner to industry suppliers and educational institutions, The Travel Institute has trained hundreds of thousands more through additional courses, webinars, and in its online Premium Access content. Throughout North America, many successful agents and high-profile leaders credit their success to coursework from The Travel Institute. Learn more at The Travel Institute.