FRAMINGHAM, MA, January 5, 2020 –The Travel Institute is starting the year with its new online version of Exploring the World, the well-known and well-regarded destination reference guide that gives frontline agents easy access to the destination content that matters to them most.
With content migrated from the current, 400+-page, 4th print edition, the new interactive, online version brings destinations around the world alive through 15 chapters filled with interactive maps, vibrant photography, graphics, chapter objectives and summaries, as well as search capabilities and student progress tracking. “The ultimate resource for both new agents and industry veterans, Exploring the World does an agent’s homework for them—cutting through endless streams of internet data for a clear ‘what to do and see, when to go, and how to get around’ look at the top cities, countries and regions of the world. Having the content online makes it even easier for agents to be successful,” explained Guida Botelho, CTIE, director of training, The Travel Institute.
A “kaleidoscope of possibilities,” the easy-to-read, easy-to-use guide is written for travel agents by travel agents and goes beyond simple geography with fingertip access to synthesized, nuanced destination information and anecdotes. Shared from a travel enthusiast’s perspective, manageable and meaningful overviews of destinations feature key highlights and attractions as well as logistical details such as culture, climate, transportation, accommodations and more. “There really is no such thing as a truly global destination specialist. That’s why Exploring the World is the single most important tool frontline agents can have. The more you know about these elements from a traveler’s perspective, the more able you are to meet and exceed expectations,” Botelho explained.
A stand-alone course, the Exploring the World textbook is also bundled with 1TRIPKITSM, The Travel Institute’s flagship introductory training course and the industry’s leading entry-level education program, which is used by both individuals and many agencies for new agent training. “The Travel Institute’s Exploring The World is simply the best geography textbook on the market. Easy to navigate with up-to-date content and beautiful imagery, taking this content online enhances our curriculum as well as access for our students, especially those overseas,” offered Professor Vivienne Sario, director for the College of Southern Nevada’s Tourism, Convention and Event Planning Program, which offers a Bachelor of Applied Science, or BAS, degree for students pursuing a career in travel.
First published 20 years ago in 2001, the guide is affordably priced in line with The Travel Institute’s ongoing mission as a non-profit serving to advance travel industry education. Both the print and online versions include a companion workbook to reinforce learning and retention.
‘Better Days’ Ahead for 2021
According to Diane Petras, CTIE, president, The Travel Institute, Exploring the World Online offers the perfect start to a long-awaited, new year with multiple indicators, including an uptick in bookings, ongoing luxury travel and wellness travel initiatives, growing TSA traffic, and continued positive outlooks from suppliers collectively pointing to better days ahead for the travel industry in 2021. “An agent’s ability to support and advise travelers will be critical this year as travel ramps up and they must navigate new rules, protocols and risks. Having the right tools at the ready is key,” Petras said.
Reflecting on The Travel Institute’s results for 2020, Petras praised the efforts of her team to pivot, revising production calendars and delivering content that best reflected—and best served—the needs of an industry in a state no one could have imagined. Offering two critical skill courses, Business Planning and Business Writing, at no cost for struggling agents gave them opportunities for continued professional growth despite minimal bookings and revenue. Petras again cited record numbers of agents both pursuing certification last spring and taking advantage of other complimentary learning opportunities with the organization. In addition, The Travel Institute prioritized 2020 efforts to support agencies facilitating in-house, private study groups for certification. The team also delivered multiple new courses for all agents, significant new content for Premium Access subscribers, and momentum for Digital Credentials to ensure traveling consumers can most easily identify and access certified graduates of The Travel Institute. Read Petras’ 2021 Outlook letter in full.
As the global leader in travel industry education, Petras emphasized taking Exploring the World online is only the beginning for The Travel Institute team’s 2021 agenda. 2021 initiatives also include additional dates for its new, peer-to-peer sharing series, ”On the Road Again,” launched in December, a soon-to-be-announced wellness initiative first initiated last spring, and continued momentum for agents’ Digital Credentials, which provide both a consumer-facing agent directory and a marketing tool that ensures traveling consumers can most easily find and work with certified graduates of The Travel Institute. Along with a myriad of other programming, the team will also monitor 2021 industry developments to ensure its content continues to align with the state of the industry and agents’ related needs. “While the industry and agent needs constantly evolve, our mission does not,” Petras concluded. “We’re singularly focused on providing affordable education to advance all travel professionals to collectively advance our industry. From year to year, it’s really that simple.”
1TRIPKitSM has long been recognized as the industry’s gold standard for new agent training. It is a self-guided course with online and print components used by individuals studying independently, agency owners and managers training new staff, and post-secondary vocational institutions teaching travel-related curriculum. A turn-key, affordable and flexible educational tool, TRIPKit helps create the career path for potential travel advisors by providing a comprehensive overview of booking air, ground, accommodations, cruises, tours and packages while also exposing potential new agents to numerous other nuances in booking travel today. Often, TRIPKit is the first step toward industry certification.
About The Travel Institute
A collaborative industry effort created in 1964, The Travel Institute has continuously evolved to maintain its role as the global leader in industry education and certification while staying true to its mission: dedicated solely to advancing the professionalism of both agents and industry leaders in support of individual and industry success. A non-profit, independent organization, The Travel Institute also works with leaders throughout the industry to create and deliver relevant, meaningful and rigorous coursework. Using exclusive proctored, closed-book testing to ensure its graduates earn credentials that demonstrate the highest standards of expertise and service, The Travel Institute has certified more than 26,000 Certified Travel Associate (CTA®), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC®), and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE®) graduates and also administers the Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAPSM, exam to confirm students new to the industry demonstrate a mastery of travel industry basics. A trusted partner to industry suppliers and educational institutions, The Travel Institute has trained hundreds of thousands more through additional courses, webinars, and in its online Premium Access program. Throughout North America, many successful agents and high-profile leaders credit their success to coursework from The Travel Institute. Learn more at The Travel Institute.