Graduates also benefit from digital credentials and online, searchable directory
FRAMINGHAM, MA, JUNE 15, 2020 – The Travel Institute’s 7th Annual Promote Your Professionalism, or PYP, campaign kicks off early with a June 15 start date, extending the opportunity for agents to utilize scholarship funds to bolster their skills before consumer travel demand returns. Since the program’s inception in 2014, The Travel Institute Fund has endowed $460K USD in scholarships, benefitting more than 2500 students across its flagship, 3-tier, certification programs, which have been the industry’s education gold standard for more than 55 years.
To apply for a scholarship, individuals must complete The Travel Institute’s scholarship form, available now through the end of July, selecting from the Certified Travel Associate, CTA®, Certified Travel Counselor, CTC®, or Certified Travel Industry Executive, CTIE®, programs, each of which are designed for a different career stage. Scholarship value is as high as $275 depending on certification level. “Success starts with skills, which translate into capabilities and confidence. The knowledge gained from our certification programs gives agents the ability to demonstrate both,” said Diane Petras, CTIE, president of The Travel Institute. “Now more than ever, astute travelers will be looking for agents who display confidence and expertise in handling the complexities of trip planning,” she added, noting current high demand for agent education across the industry indicates agents and organizations alike are focused on professional advancement as they await the return of travel demand.
Ambassador Tours in San Francisco and Brentwood Travel in St. Louis are two industry-leading, family-owned businesses that have withstood the test of time and countless industry challenges over 60+ years. Both credit education as a critical success factor with three generations of family agents certified by The Travel Institute. “Certification is much more than simple hype. Running a business is challenging. Time is money, and agents need to ensure they have the capabilities and confidence to make quick and solid decisions every day,” shared Stephanie Turner, CTC, president and CEO, Brentwood Travel, and a top agent award winner who serves on various industry boards and advisory groups. Gary Pollard, CTC, who owns Ambassador Tours in San Francisco and is chairman of the board for Ensemble Travel Group, agreed. “Those (CTC) letters have been critical to my credibility, demonstrating my capabilities before I say a word in some cases and giving others confidence to work with me. It’s amazing how many times my CTC credentials have opened doors that might not have opened otherwise,” said Pollard, also vice chair for The Travel Institute’s board.
Certification program graduates benefit from a unique combination of online, flexible learning along with access to peer groups and one-on-one advice from trainers for additional support, enabling them to consistently demonstrate the personal skills, professional knowledge, and business aptitude to navigate the travel industry successfully. What recent graduates say:
· “I thought I knew everything. Wrong! The CTA program, while rigorous, is a great certification program. The modules are well organized, and the quizzes ensure you capture the essence of each lesson. I’m so happy I completed this course. Business may be slow, but travel will return in due time. The time and effort dedicated to this program is well worth the investment.” –Isaiah Banks, CTA, Cruise Planners
· “I thought it was going to be a review but it was so much more. I now have knowledge that I can take with me through any job in the industry.” –Kallie Adelaide Hillius, CTA, AAA
· “The Covid-19 break has given me time to work on many changes to my business. The CTA course has been an unexpected inspiration for adjusting the focus of my agency and restructuring my business. I am very excited to head in this new direction.” –Samantha Musso, CTA, New Destinations Travel, LLC
Supplementing certification scholarships are free interactive webinars, focused on developing and promoting agent professionalism, including:
· June 18, 1 pm EDT: 20 Professional Selling Tips in 25 Minutes; Mike Marchev, CTC, industry speaker
· June 25, 2 pm EDT: Specialization—Finding Your Travel Industry Niche; Patty Noonan, CTC, The Travel Institute
· June 26, 2:30 pm EDT: Brand for Business; Patrick McGovern, director of business development, Ascedia
· June 29, 4 pm EDT: Ireland—Staying informed: Preparing today so you can start planning tomorrow; Evan McElligott, CTA, Independent Ireland
· July 9, 11 am EDT: The Dos and Don’ts of Emotional Branding; Alvin Adriano, CTA, chief executive officer, Travelwise International
· July 16, 1 pm EDT: First Impressions—Don’t blow your one shot! Anita Pagliasso, vice president, supplier relations, KHM Travel
· July 20, 2 pm EDT: Expanding Your Circle of Influence: Public Relations; Richard Earls, publisher, Travel Research Online
· July 28, 2 pm EDT: The Path to a Perfect Itinerary; Anne MacIntyre, owner, On the Map Travel
See full webinar schedule for additional details and topics; advanced registration required and availability limited.
Certified graduates also benefit from online marketing tools such as digital credentials and a consumer-facing directory to easily market themselves with potential new clients. According to Petras, “Agent credentials will most certainly take center stage in a ‘new normal’ as travelers will be more cautious and discerning about working with an expert. Preparing for that will mean personal rebranding for many agents as they explore their strengths and weaknesses and make sure they are positioned to convey real value to the market.”
Ultimately, “Our goal is to create better business people,” Petras pledged, adding, “Our certification programs have been transformational for many, and we are inspired every day to learn of the elevated level of capability and service our graduates provide. Advancing themselves benefits them, their travelers, their organizations, and our industry immediately and for many years to come.”
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 Premium Member Lounge. 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.