Courses in travel consulting are offered through many colleges and organizations as standalone courses or as part of undergraduate certificate and degree programs in travel, tourism or hospitality. These courses prepare students for travel agent certification through instruction in reservation systems, industry terminology, popular destinations and available transportation systems.
Certificate programs should prepare students to take The Travel Institute's National Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) test, which shows prospective employers that the candidate has at least entry-level proficiency in the many areas of the travel industry. The Travel Institute offers a variety of certifications and credentials that can be gained through workshops and training programs, including Certified Travel Associate (CTA) and Certified Travel Counselor (CTC). The CTA program is the most broadly focused and provides information on closing sales, customer service and travel sales, while the CTC program is intended for those in a management role and shifts the focus from selling to growing a customer base.
Here are some common concepts found in certified travel consultant courses:
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List of Common Courses
Travel Industry Overview Course
This introductory course for travel consultant training is taken at the beginning of the program. It provides students with a basic overview of the industry and geographical information. Prospective travel agents also learn about the spoken language, available transportation and attractions in various destinations of interest. Once candidates learn about the locations and travel packages available, they are able to better match clients to the correct products and close the sale.
Travel Method Course
Travel and vacation planning involves the coordination of several products to fit travelers' specific needs. A travel methods course focuses on different forms of transportation and accommodations. After gaining knowledge on popular destinations, students learn about air and ground transportation, hotels and other accommodations, cruises and tours for guests. These skills are essential because planning and organization of details are key elements of a travel agent's business.
Reservation Systems Training Course
A course on reservation systems may be offered at varying times throughout a certified travel consultant program, but it is essential for anyone interested in a career in travel consulting. Students learn how to operate a variety of automated reservation systems, such as Sabre, Apollo, Worldspan, Galileo and Amadeus GDS. With hands-on practice through the use of a simulator, individuals gain speed and proficiency in making, changing and canceling customer bookings.
Travel Sales and Marketing Course
Travel consultants should also understand the sales and marketing aspect of the business and students in this class begin to learn the most effective sales practices. From developing specialized vacations to marketing the product, the travel sales course prepares students to close sales and promote their businesses.
Workplace Environment and Travel Careers Course
Travel consultants may be based out of an agency or a home-office, and this course provides students information on the daily operations of a travel business from both perspectives. Other important business factors include client communication, money management, finding employment and building a business. The class also covers career options, such as working for a car rental agency, cruise ship, airline, travel agency, hotel or resort.