Association and Events Press Releases

The Travel Institute Releases Revised North America Destination Specialist Course

The Travel Institute Releases Revised North America Destination Specialist Course

Timely refresh provides critical knowledge as travelers seek adventure ‘closer to home’


FRAMINGHAM, MA, August 3, 2020 – The Travel Institute announces its newly refreshed North America: A Destination Specialist Course is now available, featuring sales tips along with updated key attractions and activities, historic highlights, seasonal nuances and more for the 10 Canadian provinces and all 50 states for the U.S.


The release of the updated course is particularly timely as North American travel professionals adapt to growing traveler sentiment preferring to vacation closer to home, according to Diane Petras, CTIE, president, The Travel Institute. “Travel professionals have an opportunity to be creative as they balance the need for safety and security with the desire for escape and adventure as only travel offers,” Petras said, adding domestic travel demand is also boosted by current international travel restrictions, interest in seasonal outdoor activities, and the recent marketing efforts of tourism groups.


Guida Botelho, CTIE, director of education, The Travel Institute, emphasized the tremendous current potential for domestic travel sales whether by air, rail or ground transportation. “With 2019 travel spending reports indicating $1.1 trillion in the U.S. and $90 billion in Canada, these two countries clearly offer vast opportunities to satisfy pent-up travel demand. Travel professionals must be ready, willing and able to pivot and support travelers where they want to go,” she explained.


Introducing agents to a wide variety of travel experiences available in the United States and Canada, the North America course overviews each province in Canada and each state in the U.S. with:


  • A “Lay of the Land” overview
  • Key Areas/Points of Interest
  • Arrival/Transportation
  • Dining
  • Local Business
  • Sales Tips and Notes
  • Additional Resources
  • Star-Spangled or Maple Leaf Theater (country-dependent)


The refreshed course is delivered using The Travel Institute’s interactive, e-Learning platform, which improves the student experience through engaging exercises and images, enhanced navigation, and mapping capabilities that also assist with content retention and relatability. The platform automatically adapts to various screen sizes and orientation, enabling easy transition between desktop, tablet, and mobile phone access anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection. Students also benefit from short quizzes at the end of each section to reinforce learning and ensure their readiness to help travelers through the decision-making and itinerary creation process. “This course enables travel advisors to truly grasp the myriad of options, articulate key features and, ultimately, create itineraries that best meet traveler needs and preferences within North America today,” Botelho concluded.


Completion of the refreshed course was accelerated earlier this year in anticipation of increased demand for domestic travel. The course is available for single purchase and is also included in The Travel Institute’s Premium Access Lounge, which is available at a special rate throughout August. Students who successfully complete the North America course earn 10 Continuing Education Units, or CEUs, toward maintaining certification from The Travel Institute as well as standing as a North America Destination Specialist. Both designations are used by agents to further market their expertise with travelers.



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 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 certified more than 26,000 Certified Travel Associate (CTA®), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC®), and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE®) graduates and also administers the Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAPSM, exam 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 Member Lounge, offering both Premium and Basic Access. 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.