Online travel agent training is readily available in the form of certificate programs; diploma programs are generally not offered in this field. Students learn about computer reservation systems, international travel procedures, hotel pricing and deals, travel marketing, and matching clients to appropriate vacation packages. Most of these programs can be completed within a year, since general education coursework is not included, and require few specialized requirements outside of specific computer programs like Acrobat Reader and Flash Player. Many online travel agent certificate programs prepare graduates to take the Travel Agency Proficiency (TAP) test, so they can earn certification with the Travel Institute.
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Travel Agent Certificates
Through an online travel agent certificate program, students explore various methods of travel, including airlines, boats and trains, and different types of accommodations. They learn to coordinate tours and examine the various requirements for travel to and within foreign countries. Aspiring travel agents also become familiar with computer reservation software. While formal education isn't required for this field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most employers prefer hiring individuals with travel agent training. Most online travel agent certificate programs can be completed within six months to a year.
Information and Requirements
Certificate programs for prospective travel agents are available completely online and usually are self-paced. Students typically access courses through an educational server.
Distance education students in this field must have a computer and access to the Internet. They also need e-mail access. Students generally need Acrobat Reader and Flash Player to watch videos and participate in online activities.
Travel agent certificate candidates take courses related solely to the travel industry, so there are no general education requirements.
Students explore the history of the travel industry and current responsibilities of travel agents. They also study geography and technology used by travel agents.
Marketing in Travel
How do travel agents sell a vacation to prospective clients? Future travel agents study ways to market their services and find clients.
Travel agents often are responsible for all aspects of a trip, including transportation to, from, and within a destination, accommodations, and entertainment, including tours. They must be able to make recommendations to clients and seek out the best deals.
Travel Agent Training
Students are introduced to the various computer software programs, including Apollo, Galileo, Sabre, and Amadeus, used by travel agents to make plane, hotel, and train reservations. They also learn to read timetables and schedules.
The BLS predicts that job opportunities for travel agents could decrease by 12% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for travel agents was $35,660 in May 2015, according to BLS figures.
Online travel agent training is most common in the form of a certificate, teaching students various skills of the industry from marketing, to booking, to using different programs, and prepares them to become professionally certified by the Travel Institute.