eLearning is proving its worth everywhere – including in the travel industry. More travel agents are getting onboard to bring their clients an even better vacation experience. Recent technology has made far away destinations more accessible with the help of virtual reality. Whether it is a local government promoting tourism or a travel agent building their expertise, eLearning offers a valuable educational resource that’s affordable and versatile.
Travel Agents Treat eLearning Like a Traditional Class
Vernon Hale with Dallas-based Cruises Inc. explained that “Distance education has evolved to a point that it is now a staple in even the most prestigious universities.” He also identified that both online and in-person classroom training come with a different set of advantages. “The primary advantage of the classroom is the ability to ask focused questions when one doesn’t quite understand the concept, as well as the networking opportunities with classmates.”
Chris Caulfield with a New York-based Cruise-One franchise pointed out the importance of being engaged in the process. “Keeping one’s focus may be more challenging as there will likely be more distractions when doing online training.”
Caulfield followed up explaining that “Agents should approach online training much the same as classroom learning, giving it their full attention.” That means dedicating time without distractions like phone calls, emails, and other factors. Even nearby family members can disrupt the learning process.
Travel agents have discovered the flexibility of the internet classroom. They can work on their skill set any time from anywhere. This empowers professionals while letting them keep up with the day-to-day demands of work and family life.
Cruise Lines International Association Introduces New eLearning Classes
The eLearning course catalog available to the travel industry continues to expand. One of the more recent additions includes five new courses created by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). These are made available to CLIA travel agencies, individual agent members, and non-member travel professionals.
The current focus is on building a strong business through branding, marketing, and customer relationships. Travel agents can enroll in the following:
- Converting Prospects to Customers – This course helps agents improve their ability to close bookings. It will cover all types of prospects and present information that is relevant to new and seasoned professionals.
- Personal Branding – Standing out is essential to success for a travel agent. This course will discuss how to establish a brand that is noticeable and sends the right message to potential clients.
- The New Face of Luxury – This course covers updates in the cruise industry. Learners will find out how things have changed from the journey to the ships. It presents CLIA travel professionals with insider information that will give them an edge in the luxury vacation market.
- Customer Relationship Management – CLIA’s Customer Relationship Management course discusses the importance of one-on-one relationships between agents and their clients. The lesson explains how to make personal connections and how a CRM system can be beneficial.
- Developing Your Marketing Strategy – This course includes how to develop a marketing plan and strategy that is easy and effective. Participants will find out how to implement promotions and differentiate themselves from the competition.
CLIA and other travel organizations will likely continue to adopt the eLearning approach to training and education. Online platforms can give agents all over the world access to information that can help them be successful. It’s good for business, and it means their clients will enjoy a better overall experience when booking a trip.
Foz do Iguaçu Teamed Up with Travel Agent Academy to Create 2-Part Course
Foz do Iguaçu can be found in the state of Paraná in Brazil. It is home to Iguassu Falls, which earned the prestigious title of one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country. Every year, people travel hundreds of miles to experience the world’s largest waterfall system for themselves.
To help promote tourism, Visit Iguassu formed a partnership with Travel Agent Academy which is part of the TravAlliance Media brand. Travel Agent Academy is the world’s largest agent training platform. Over 100,000 agents utilize the platform annually with an average of 5,000 graduates per month. By working together, the two organizations created an opportunity for travel agents to become Iguassu Falls experts.
Their efforts have produced a two-part course that provides intimate details on the landmark as well as the surrounding area. Learners will explore the area’s diverse culture and understand more about its recently-booming tourism industry.
Through eLearning, the Travel Agent Academy has created a program that goes beyond a few key selling points. Agents will learn about the best places to go kayaking, hiking, and more. They will become familiar with Iguacu National Park and local family-friendly attractions. It’s an exciting way that professionals can use educational technology to help people discover new places and cultures.
Travel Agents Can Use eLearning to Expand Their Language Skills
Travel agents are often required to help clients arrange travel to other parts of the world. That includes regions that may not speak the same language as the agent and traveler. eLearning has made it possible for professionals to pick up a second, third, or even fourth language.
It is well worth the investment to take a language course. This is especially true for agents who primarily work within specific areas or destinations. However, that doesn’t mean you have pay for the opportunity. Some websites and educational institutions have created language courses that are free – no strings attached. For example, the site Duolingo offer lessons that cover popular languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Welsh, and Czech. Each lesson is presented in a microlearning format. Students can work through content in brief sessions, making them highly flexible and easier to digest.
Travel professionals who prefer a more complete experience may opt to enroll at an accredited school. France’s University of Strasbourg offers a free French language course. Tsinghua University in Beijing provides a self-paced introductory course that teaches Chinese.
Other options include learning Spanish at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, Korean at Yonsei University, Italian at the Università per Stranieri di Siena, and Dutch at the University of Groningen. Some of these courses focus on language only while others also present information on local culture and history.
eLearning has created an opportunity for travel professionals to improve their skills and become location experts. In many cases, the cost is minimal and can produce great results that translate to more bookings and higher revenue.