Travel advisors certified by The Travel Institute earn 24.3% more in annual income than advisors who have no industry certifications – and 12.5% more than those who have earned a different certification. Such are some of the findings from "The Changing Face of Travel Agents 2023" survey, which benchmarks various aspects of the advisor role and compares results to the same survey done in 2008 and 2018.
Annual sales volumes are higher for The Travel Institute graduates as well, with grads having 26.5% more in annual sales than those lacking any industry certification, and 10.5% more than those who have earned another industry certification.
Higher income isn't reserved only for graduates of The Travel Institute's certification programs. Those who have earned either a Destination Specialist or Lifestyle Specialist designation also earn more.
Advisors with one or more of these designations earn 17.8% more in annual income than travel advisors lacking any industry certification, and 6% more than those who have earned a different industry certification.
The findings are consistent with both the 2008 and 2018 surveys.
"We are not surprised by these results but we certainly appreciate continued affirmation of our mission, curriculum, and industry position," said Diane Petras, CTIE, president of The Travel Institute.
Petras also shared that 80% of respondents who have credentials from The Travel Institute said they were initially referred to the Institute by an industry colleague.
"Our students and graduates are best at telling our story…," she said.
Awareness of the value of education continues to increase as demonstrated by the Institute's July 2023 Promote Your Professionalism scholarship event, which brought in a record number of applicants at nearly 50% more than its previous record, set in 2020 when many advisors used pandemic downtime to advance their education.
Other insights revealed by the survey include
- Many travel advisors intend to do more training in 2024: 70% want destination knowledge, while 63% are looking for training on supplier products
- 87% said they rely on supplier communications
- 66% said they read the trade media for industry news and updates
- 65% said they use social media for news, marketing and selling travel, networking, and peer-to-peer learning
- Facebook is most widely used at 96%, followed by Instagram (61%), YouTube (34%), LinkedIn (30%), TikTok (18%), and other (3%).