Most tourism employers do not require a college certificate or degree to begin working. However, many employers, especially in the travel agencies, prefer to hire people that have participated in a travel school training program. Travel agency managers simply do not have the time to teach you the basics of the industry. Computer skills are very important and any experience in sales and customer service will be to your advantage. A love of travel attracts many people to the field but to succeed, agents must have a desire to be of service. They must be friendly, articulate, well groomed, organized, and accurate and detail oriented. Good business skills and the knowledge of geography are also very important to succeed as a travel agent.
Although the internet has allowed people to book their own basic travel arrangements, travel agents are still in demand for vacation packages, honeymoon trips, tours, and cruises. Travel and tourism is a service intensive field, which requires human contact the internet cannot supply. By booking with a travel agent, the traveling public has someone they can contact for questions, issues or problems prior, during or after travel.
Travel agents do not require a "license" to work in an agency but there is a Travel Sellers Registration License required in several states in order to sell travel in that area. Currently, 14 states have regulations that mention travel sellers specifically require a license. This list is subject to change so always check with your local state government to verify what your state regulates.
Obtaining your first job as a travel agent does not require you to be certified. Upon completion of our program you will earn a Certificate of Completion showing you have successfully passed the training, but to become a certified travel agent requires 18 months work experience. The first step in certification is to become a Certified Travel Associate. After 5 years of work experience you can earn your Certified Travel Counselor certification. The Travel Institute is the industries educational organization that certifies travel agents. Ashby Harbin is an independent trainer for the institute and can answer any questions you may have about furthering your education once you enter the travel industry.
You will learn the details of how to setup your home-based business but as a newcomer to the industry you will need to host with an existing travel agency in order to have access to an IATA or ARC number. This allows you to book with the vendors and suppliers travel agents use in order to earn commissions. You will learn more about hosting travel agencies in the curriculum.
To earn your IATAN Travel Agent ID card you must have worked in the industry 6-months, work a minimum of 30-hours per week and sell a minimum of $5000.00 in commission sales to qualify for your ID card. This ID card will allow you to start taking advantage of the travel agent discounts and FAM trips. Go to Travel Industry Benefits to learn more.
That depends on your career goal! If you want to work in a travel agency, then select the Travel Agent Agency packages. If your want to setup your own home-based travel business, then select the Home-Based Travel Business package. If you are not sure but leaning towards the idea of getting a job first in an agency with the goal of "one-day" going home to start your business, take the Travel Agent Agency package. You can always purchase Module IV as an individual course at a later date.
If you enroll in a course package you will have 6-months access to the website to complete the courses. If you work on a regular schedule, the average completion time is about 3-4 months. You work at your own pace so you can complete sooner if you set a more aggressive study schedule.
You will be accessing a website to complete your chapter reviews, review questions and test questions. Access to the internet will be needed. This will work with a Windows or Mac computer.
The packages must be paid in full at time of purchase in order to receive the package inclusions and discounted price. The payment plan option is to purchase the modules as individual courses. As you purchase each individual module and complete; then move on to the next module. Each individual module must be paid in full at time of purchase. We do recommend you start with Module I and work through the modules in order. The extra inclusions of the packages are not included with any of the individual modules. (Hawaii or Caribbean DS instruction access and TAP Test.) TAP Test can be purchased separately.
AAA Members will receive a Member Benefit of an additional course via PDF; St. Lucia Destination Specialist Self-Study Course.