Travel Agent Skills Training Designed for New Entrants
The Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) is launching a travel agent skills certificate program. The web-based skills-oriented training program will feature individual industry modules, each sponsored by a member of ARTA’s Supplier Council. At the end of the program, participants will take an online test to qualify for the ARTA Travel Agent Skills Certificate (TASC). The association decided to launch the program because of concerns that new entrants in the profession had few resources available to them for enhancing their travel skills knowledge and proficiency.
American Sommelier to Offer Immersion Course
American Sommelier is offering members of the travel industry a condensed, six-day intensive version of its 24-week Viticulture & Vinification Course. The Viti-Vini immersion follows the same curriculum as the 24-week course, which offers a rigorous wine education. Students learn about varieties, climate, geography, soil, wine making, industry regulations and food pairings. Daily sessions consist of region-based lectures paired with wines that illustrate key educational points. The program will be held March 26-31 at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles and tuition is $3,000. www.americansommelier.com/education/
Home-Based Agents Invited to Free ‘Why Use Social Media’ Webinars
Independent travel agent affiliate program Oasis is inviting all agents to attend its series of webinars entitled “Let’s Get Social.” The six-part series is designed to teach home-based agents simple social media strategies. Webinars will be taught by social media expert Catherine Heeg. Webinar topics include: 3 blog marketing strategies (April 4); adding buzz to Facebook (June 13); how to promote your Facebook business page for free (Aug. 1); and Twitter tactics (Oct. 3, Dec. 5). For more information and to register, visit www.oasisagent.com/webinars.
Canadian Tourism College's Online TA Program Gets CITC Nod
The Online Travel Agent Certificate Program from the Canadian Tourism College (CTC) in Vancouver, British Columbia, earned a three-star endorsement from the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors (CITC). The Certificate Program at CTC provides comprehensive training in fares and tickets, travel reservations, leisure travel and the SABRE GDS. The CITC endorsement indicates the program is meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements for entering the travel industry as a travel agent. Criteria for the endorsement include: the length of time the program has been offered, how graduates are performing in the workplace, course curriculum and instructor qualifications, among other areas.
Israel Schedules New York Area Educational Seminar
The Israel Ministry of Tourism will hold two travel agent seminars in New York next month. During the dinner meetings agents will learn about new developments for every kind of traveler to Israel; meet representatives from the Israel Ministry of Tourism; find out why 2010 and 2011 were the best years ever for travel to Israel; and attend a trade show with Israel suppliers. Seminars are March 5 in White Plains, N.Y. and March 6 in Melville, N.Y. For more information and to register, visit www.leadnet.com/leadnet-bin/goisrael-seminar-ne.cgi.
Karisma Resorts Offer Educational Fams
El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels, both operated by Karisma, are offering travel agents a series of Gourmet Inclusive (GI) training fams. The trips are designed to train travel agents on how to sell the brands’ Gourmet Inclusive concept and familiarize them with the different properties. Fam dates are: April 18-21 (wedding focus); May 3-5; June 27-30 (wedding focus), Sept. 19-22; and Oct. 17-21 (wedding focus). To register, contact your regional sales and marketing manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need an IATA, CLIA or TICO ID.
Wellness Retreat in Dominica Sets Agent Rates
Rosalie Bay Resort, a wellness retreat on Dominica, is inviting travel agents to experience the resort at special rates. Agents who visit in 2012 will receive a FAM rate of $75 per night in run-of-house accommodations for the first three nights of stay. The Resort features an oceanfront spa and organic cuisines. To make a reservation travel agents may contact the U.S. reservations office (877) 397-0257 or the resort directly (767) 446-1010 or via email at email@example.com. Travel agents must present an IATA or CLIA card at check-in.
Regent Launches Co-Branded Website Program
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has launched a free co-branded website program for travel agents. The program provides agents with a turnkey process that makes it possible for agents to offer comprehensive information about Regent without sending them to Regent’s website. The co-branded site features the agent’s own logo, contact and profile information, quote forms and more. The cruise line manages all site updates, ensuring the itineraries, fares, availability and special offers are accurate at all times.
Agents who choose to use the program can also register a unique URL for the site and use it in their own email marketing campaigns as a landing site for specific offers. Any information entered by potential clients on the co-branded site is forwarded directly to the agency and is not shared with Regent. To create a site, visit http://regentsevenseascobrandedsite.com and fill out a request form; it takes 48 hours for the form to be processed and the site to go live.
Carnival Offers Agents Rewards
Carnival Cruise Lines launched a Travel Agent Rewards program, which allows travel partners to earn and redeem points for actions completed through the line’s travel agent portal (GoCCL.com) or their GDS. Agents can earn or redeem points for themselves or their clients; among the rewards available are Carnival-branded logo items, gift cards and even Apple iPads. Points can be earned by creating new online bookings, booking groups online, making online payments, securing existing bookings using Carnival’s online tools, complete CCLU (Carnival Cruise Lines University), and attending various events including ships visits and FAMS. The program is part of the Carnival’s Work Smarter, Not Harder tool in the Travel Partner Toolbox located in the portal. For more info, visit GoCCL.com or CarnivalAgentRewards.com.