So you want to become a travel agent?
Have you been bitten by the travel bug? Enjoy working with people? Are you willing to travel several times a year? Then being a travel agent might be for you!
However, before you start applying for job openings, you have to make sure you’re qualified. That’s right, even travel agents need to go through a certification process. Here’s all you need to know.
First and foremost you need an education. There is a selection of online programs and schools that offer courses to prepare you for a career as a travel agent. Generally, you will find these programs at colleges, not universities (although some universities do offer them). These courses can take a year or two and offer general courses like business as well. If online programs are more your style, be sure to head over to the he Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) website to make sure that they are endorsed. ACTA even uses a star program to rate the courses so you know where to get the most bang for your buck.
CTC vs. CTM
The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) is Canada’s authority on travel agents and their agencies. There are currently two certifications ACTA offers for travel agents: The CTC and the CTM. The CTC (Certified Travel Counselor) accreditation is proof of an agent’s knowledge as it pertains to the travel industry. The CTM (Certified Travel Manager) is a step above the CTC and is a mark of quality management in the travel workplace. These certifications help to ensure your recognition in the travel industry.
Whether you are certified as a CTC or working towards it, it’s a good idea to invest in ACTA’s online specialty courses. Not only are these courses incredibly useful and can help you craft the perfect trip, they’re also free! Available topics include attractions, cruises, hotels, destinations, sample itineraries and more.
A “FAM trip” or “Familiarisation Trip” is an educational trip taken to a region to learn about the resorts and activities available there. This allows you to give a genuine snapshot of a destination to your clients. FAM trips can be a lot of work and require a lot of resort inspections but they are heavily discounted trips. Usually, your resort stays are covered on a FAM trip and you can get reduced air rates through your agency.
Travel agents can earn a decent salary with commission however it’s the perks and the people that really make this job great. To learn more about how to work in the travel industry click here.
And to learn about our team of travel agents, click here.