New Travel Agents: How to Start Your Education

By Ruthanne Terrero
Travel Agent magazine
April 7, 2016

It’s said that having too many choices often results in an angst that you’ve picked the wrong thing. It’s easy to analyze options to pieces only to agonize when you’ve made your selection. This must be an issue for newbie travel agents, who have the entire world in front of them to learn about. Where do you begin?

Consider the following assessment strategy.

Ruthanne - tight crop - web

VP/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero

You’re in business, so you need to earn a viable income. I suggest going for the low-hanging fruit, the travel offerings that will provide an immediate return. Take supplier and destination courses that give you the 101 on how to sell to more than just one type of client, that verse you in the art of upselling and give you specific instructions on how to close the deal.

Next step: Cultivating a new business isn’t all about the now. You need to nurture new markets by learning about products and places that speak to emerging trends. Read up on where new hotels are being developed in international markets; the larger lodging companies often have an eye on those places that have the potential for new tourists. Which new ports are the cruise lines visiting? Assemble as much information as possible on where to go next so you’ve got much to offer that new sophisticated client who comes your way.  Read more

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Travel Agent University Partners with Equator Learning Offering Travel Suppliers Unparalleled International Reach

Questex Travel Group announced today that its iconic Travel Agent University brand has partnered with the Online Travel Academy powered by Equator Learning, a UK-based travel industry e-learning platform to offer participating suppliers an international audience of professional sellers of travel.

taublueTravel Agent University (TAU), with 46,000 plus certified members, is the industry’s largest online travel agent community and education site and has graduated more specialists than any other industry education program, awarding over 50,000 diplomas annually. The recent launch of the totally revamped platform, which features responsive design, intuitive navigation, seamless rewards, both B2B and B2C resources for agents, and even editing capabilities for course hosts, has received rave reviews from member users.

equator_cropEquator Learning, a UK-based company, designs, manages and markets unique, multilingual and interactive online training portals for the travel industry. Through their global media partnerships, Equator training courses such as NYC, California, and Sandals are offered to over 125,000 travel agents worldwide including Europe, Asia, Brazil, India, China, Australia, and the Middle East.

John McMahon, Questex Travel Group executive vice president, said the partnership is a key strategic move for the TAU brand because it will enable suppliers to leverage best-in-class e-learning technology to a global marketplace. It will give clients the opportunity to streamline their education courses via one partner, and simply translate for each individual audience, rather than have to work with multiple vendors around the world.

“We are delighted to collaborate on this advantageous endeavor with Equator Learning, one of the leading global e-learning distributors,” said McMahon. “Questex is invested in travel agent education and committed to delivering an invaluable opportunity for our suppliers to expand their reach to agents eager to learn throughout the world.”

“We are proud to partner with Questex, North America’s preeminent publisher of travel agent content, editorial, and education,” said Chris May, managing director, Equator Learning. “Our two unique brands combined will offer suppliers the elite in travel agent training opportunities, with a global reach that will be unprecedented. We are looking forward to a mutually successful relationship.”

Serving the travel community since 2005, Equator Learning creates innovative and engaging online travel and leisure training solutions that offer an affordable and efficient solution for clients and a fun learning tool for the end user.

Launched in 1993, Travel Agent University is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Along with the best-in-class Travel Agent University courses offered on this proprietary platform, Questex continues to offer fully customized, white label e-learning and loyalty solutions. For more information, visit www.travelagentuniversity.com.

 

Top 10 Reasons to Exhibit at Travel Industry Exchange

Travel Industry Exchange is the #1 event for top10imageBarspecialization.
But why should you participate?

  1. It will be hosted in beautiful San Diego, California — in December!
  1. Options to suit your budget — full booth or table top.
  1. Focused, uninterrupted meetings — no conflicting conference sessions while trade show floor is open.
  1. Schedule your own appointments with travel agents YOU CHOOSE to meet with.
  1. Educated agents will attend for specialization training in your products.
  1. Conference passes included in your package at no additional charge.
  1. Participation will help optimize your database with pre-qualified travel agent leads.
  1. Helps eliminate sales call road shows with eight hours of one-to-one meetings.
  1. Exposure to 100,000 travel agents via the Travel Agent and Luxury Travel Advisor media portfolio.

And the #1 reason to exhibit at Travel Industry Exchange

It’s the only event focused on specialization, the next wave of growth for agents, and a direct link to more business for you!

Travel Industry Exchange 2016 Is A Year Away!

TIX16_YouCouldBeHere_pool

As we wrap up 2015, we look toward 2016 with excitement as Travel Industry Exchange heads to the lovely Hilton San Diego Bayfront in sunny San Diego, California.

With over 500+ pre-qualified agents in attendance and 366 global suppliers, Travel Industry Exchange 2015 was a tremendous success and we look forward to an off the charts event in 2016.

So mark your calendars and be sure to join us in San Diego next December!

Select an option below to add Travel Industry Exchange 2016 to your Outlook, iCalendar or Google Calendar now.

Outlook | iCalendar | Google Calendar

Questex Unveils Revamped Travel Agent University E- Learning Site

Travel Agent University

The new home page at Travel Agent University

Questex Travel Group today announced the launch of a totally revamped Travel Agent University e-learning platform, featuring responsive design to work on any desktop or mobile device, intuitive navigation, sales-focused resources for agents, editing capabilities for course hosts and seamless rewards redemption for users.

Travel Agent University, with 38,500 certified members, is the industry’s largest online travel agent community and education site and has graduated more specialists than any other industry education program, awarding over 60,000 diplomas annually. Travel professionals can choose their specialty, complete courses and earn rewards and exclusive deals while earning accreditation.

Read more

VIDEO: Agents & Suppliers Rave about the Value of Travel Industry Exchange

Travel Industry Exchange 2015 was a hugely successful event that some consider the most productive they’ve ever been to.  As the #1 event for specialization, Travel Industry Exchange 2015 brought hundreds of pre-qualified travel agents together with diverse global suppliers for three days of education, networking, the most successful one-to-one meetings.

But don’t take our word for it, check out these great testimonials below and see what our 2015 suppliers and agents had to say about the value of Travel Industry Exchange!

SUPPLIER TESTIMONIALS

AGENT TESTIMONIALS

Travel Industry Exchange Event Closes on High Note, Heads to San Diego in 2016

NEW YORK (Sept. 22, 2015) ─ Questex Travel Group today announced that its next Travel Industry Exchange event will be held Dec. 13-15, 2016, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in California.

The inaugural 2015 event came to a successful close last week in Orlando, Florida, underscoring the value to travel professionals of becoming more niche-focused. The innovative event’s over 50 sessions focused on revenue-generating niche segments, including certification programs in luxury, cruise and romance travel as well as concentrated educational programming in technology, trends, destinations and millennial travel.

John McMahon, Questex Travel Group executive vice president, said specialization is “a major business driver” that represents the next “great wave of opportunity” for travel professionals, based on the company’s research and consumer trends and feedback.

“The positive feedback we received from both travel professionals and global suppliers has been tremendous,” he said. “Attendees were able to really build connections for new business and fine-tune the skills that will propel them into the future. As more consumers look to travel professionals for expert advice, we see untapped potential in specialty markets.”

Suppliers attending next year’s event in San Diego will benefit from the “best of both worlds,” McMahon said, with the nation’s top travel professionals expected to attend “from the East and West coasts.” Suppliers this year included destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts from around the world.

Suppliers surveyed expressed interest in returning next year, describing the new event as “well worth the investment,” and attributing its success to the one-to-one meetings and dynamic sessions.

Last week’s event was supported by a prestigious advisory board composed of travel agents and suppliers as well as 12 industry associations including the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Caribbean Tourism Association, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA), Family Travel Association, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), Meetings Mean Business, Millennials in Travel and Professional Travel Bloggers Association.

Sponsors included Apple Vacations, Bermuda Tourism Authority, Disney Destinations, Dominican Republic Tourism Board, Emirates, Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau, India Tourism, The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Namibia Tourism Board, Palace Resorts, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., Tourism Australia and The Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Travel Industry Exchange brings travel professionals and lifestyle specialists together with international suppliers, including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event includes over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions. For more information or to register for next year’s event, visit http://www.travelindustryexchange.com.

About Questex Hospitality + Travel
The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group of Questex LLC serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to the global gross domestic product. Through an innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem, from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group supports every B2B segment of the industry, from investment and development to management operations, sales and marketing of hospitality and travel products to destination development and marketing, via proven demand generation, learning, loyalty and rewards solutions as well as a network of live events. This division of Questex is aligned around three broad market segments – hospitality, travel and meetings – and supported by its digital media staff. Additional information is available at questex.com/markets/hospitality-travel.

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Travel Industry’s First Event Focused on Specialization Debuts in Orlando

NEW YORK (Sept. 15, 2015) ─ Questex Travel Group’s Travel Industry Exchange event launched this week in Orlando, Florida, underscoring the value to travel professionals of becoming more niche focused.

The innovative event’s over 50 sessions focused on revenue-generating niche segments, including certification programs in luxury, cruise and romance travel, as well as concentrated educational programming in technology, trends, destinations and millennial travel.

John McMahon, Questex Travel Group executive vice president, said specialization is “the next great wave of opportunity” for travel professionals, based on the company’s research and consumer trends and feedback. Countless websites and metadata search engines, he said, put travel planning at consumers’ fingertips, precluding agents from making a living simply by booking hotel and flights.

“The dynamic way consumers are planning their vacations today, compounded by the emergence of the millennial traveler and the impact of technology, means agents no longer just can be generalists if they expect to survive and thrive,” he said. “Consumers want to know how to experience a destination like a local. Specialization allows travel professionals to focus their efforts and gain intimate knowledge and expertise that will make them invaluable partners to clients looking for authentic experiences.”

Leaders of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) took the stage together for the first time in recent memory to kick off the event’s general session and share their vision for the future of the travel agent community, the importance of professional development and the unique needs of millennial agents and travelers.

Ruthanne Terrero, Questex Travel Group vice president of content and editorial director, moderated the panel, Raise the Bar Now: Step Up Your Business for the Next Wave of Travelers, which featured Zane Kerby, ASTA president & CEO; Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA acting CEO; and Joshua Bush, Avenue Two Travel CEO.

Meredith Hill, travel industry trailblazer and founder and chief executive officer of Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), delivered the event’s keynote address, “The Path to Limitless Opportunities Begins with Specialization.” Hill’s empowering message drew upon her extensive travel career, entrepreneurial journey and success turning her failing business around to achieve record sales through specialization.

The event is supported by a prestigious advisory board composed of travel agents and suppliers as well as 12 industry associations including the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), ASTA, Caribbean Tourism Association, CLIA, Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA), Family Travel Association, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), Meetings Mean Business, Millennials in Travel and Professional Travel Bloggers Association. Sponsors included Apple Vacations, Bermuda Tourism Authority, Disney Destinations, Dominican Republic Tourism Board, Emirates, Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau, India Tourism, The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Namibia Tourism Board, Palace Resorts, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., Tourism Australia and The Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Travel Industry Exchange brings travel professionals and lifestyle specialists together with international suppliers, including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event includes over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions. For more information or to register, visit http://www.travelindustryexchange.com.

About Questex Hospitality + Travel
The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group of Questex LLC serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to the global gross domestic product. Through an innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem, from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group supports every B2B segment of the industry, from investment and development to management operations, sales and marketing of hospitality and travel products to destination development and marketing, via proven demand generation, learning, loyalty and rewards solutions as well as a network of live events. This division of Questex is aligned around three broad market segments – hospitality, travel and meetings – and supported by its digital media staff.

Additional information is available at questex.com/markets/hospitality-travel.

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