Travel Agents may consider themselves as ‘travel industry professionals’, but unfortunately, not all members of the travelling public share the same view.

Despite having years of experience, strong industry knowledge, a breadth of contacts and reliability, Travel Agents don’t receive the same appreciation and respect as those in law, medicine, education and more.

It’s one of the reasons why consultants sometimes find themselves losing to online competitors and why they’ve only recently gained enough confidence to add service fees to their bookings.

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MTA Travel is hoping to turn this underrated public view around through a newly launched accreditation program, which according to Chief Executive Don Beattie, is designed specifically to “elevate the professionalism” of Travel Agents.

The three-tiered intensive learning program is called MTA Professional Plus, and it took up to three years for the mobile group to create.

Unlike other industry training programs, Don told KARRYON that it’s a substantial and relevant tool that goes beyond equipping consultants with the ability to sell.

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MTA CEO Don Beattie says the program will elevate Agents.

It does this by requiring Travel Agents to complete three tiers, each of which includes theoretical and practical modules on social media, corporate, cruise, air, land product, luxury, marketing, business and professional development.

Elements of existing accreditation programs such as CLIA, Virtuoso and more have been incorporated into the program along with the expertise of in-house staff.

Once mobile advisors complete each module under each tier, which is estimated to take around 12 months, they receive an MTA Certified Travel Professional Certificate.

The program is free and optional for MTA advisors, and it comes with continuous learning opportunities through ‘refresher’ modules that consultants will be required to complete after they’ve received their certificate.

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Don Bettie CEO, Kirsty Tate MTA Training Manager & Kerryn Taylor MTA Marketing-Communications Manager at the launch of MTA Professional Plus.

Don believes MTA Professional Plus will receive strong uptake and expects it will be appreciated by Australians looking for the best-of-the-best to book their travels.

“Our advisors are already travel experts, but we wanted to give them an additional tool that will elevate their professionalism and elevate their understanding of the industry.”

Don Beattie, MTA Travel Chief Executive 

“At the end of it, they’ll be able to say ‘I understand the concepts of marketing, of social media, on how to prepare financial statements and more’,” he added.

Recognising the benefits of MTA Professional Plus, AFTA’s Jayson Westbury described it as a “marketing leading initiative” that’ll elevate the “very high standards across the entire MTA network”.

Check out a video on the new training program below:

Keep an eye on KARRYON for more on our Exclusive Chat with Don.

 

What are your thoughts on the new accreditation program?