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Travel Leaders Expands 2012 Education and TrainingFebruary 21, 2012 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Travel Leaders has announced its line-up of 2012 educational and training offerings available to its Travel Leaders members (franchisees) and agents throughout the United States.
Two new workshops, “Essential Skills for Managing People,” and “Vacation Sales Toolbox,” are being launched. Other Travel Leaders workshops, net conferences and enhancements to its Certified Travel Specialist programs for business and leisure travel agents are continuing.
Travel Leaders will again offer its Academy of Business Excellence to new and existing members seeking a refresher on all existing Travel Leaders programs and benefits.
“The only constant with Travel Leaders’ education and training offerings is the updating they undergo to keep fresh with ever-changing needs of our members,” stated Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group.
“We must be vigilant in maintaining foundational best practices so our members can deliver on Travel Leaders’ brand, reputation and promise. Our wide array of educational offerings not only enables them to achieve that objective, but they also help them differentiate their agencies in the marketplace,” Block said.
The two new workshops include:
• “Essential Skills for Managing People” – is designed to help Travel Leaders agency owners and managers further build and sharpen their management skills. “Our members have been clamoring for this type of offering, and when we offered a pilot session of this workshop in December, their evaluations for it provided nothing but excellent scores,” Block noted. “We’re pleased that we’ll be able to begin offering this workshop regionally throughout the year.”
• “Vacation Sales Toolbox” – will be launched in conjunction with Travel Leaders Regional Meetings in May. It will train Travel Leaders owners and managers how to implement and use the extensive Travel Leaders systems and products designed to further increase agent productivity and sales closing ratios, as well as how to coach their agents and measure their success. As part of the program, agents will be able to take online lessons and receive coaching from their managers when needed.
According to Block, one of the key initiatives undertaken by Travel Leaders since its rebranding was announced just over three years ago was its proprietary, Certified Travel Specialist programs, with one track designed specifically for leisure agents and the second for business agents.
Travel Leaders’ Certified Leisure Travel Specialist designation remains the only travel industry certification requiring each travel specialist to complete a minimum of 195 credits in five advanced modules, Travel Leaders says.
This includes those from leading travel educational organizations. First introduced as a cornerstone for the new Travel Leaders brand, the Certified Leisure Travel Specialist program now includes a mandatory workshop, “Ready! Set! SELL!” offered regionally throughout the United States.
With the increasing role of Travel Leaders’ SCORE Program in providing online consumer leads to its participating members, the workshop specifically addresses the sales process for the online customer, Travel Leaders says.
In Travel Leaders’ Certified Business Travel Specialist program, specialist candidates are now required to successfully complete an extensive business travel customer service workshop, “Turning Business Travelers into Raving Fans,” offered regionally throughout the United States.
“Considering just how challenging each of these two certification designations is to achieve, we’re extremely pleased with the success of both,” Block said. “To date, we’ve now had 217 graduates in our Certified Leisure Travel Specialist program since its inception and a total of 680 agents have signed up to participate. Since launching our Certified Business Travel Specialist designation just over two years ago, we’ve had 18 graduates and 138 agents participating.”
“Since rebranding as Travel Leaders, we’ve made a name for ourselves within the realm of business travel, thanks to our highly successful and proprietary Envision and Envision Plus programs,” Block noted. “These programs are buttressed with strong education and training opportunities for those Travel Leaders members who specialize in serving the needs of the business traveler.”
Offerings for Travel Leaders’ business travel agencies include: workshops and net conferences on corporate online booking tools; workshops for new sales managers; regular net conferences on new business travel programs and regular net conferences on sales and account management strategies and tools.
Due to the wide array of technology products available to its members, Travel Leaders reports it continues to update online lessons for each of its new programs that were officially launched at the 2011 National Meeting in Las Vegas, including: Travel Leaders Managed Mid-Office; Mobile App Program and InteGREAT Marketing Platform.
Block indicated that new education and training opportunities will continue to be added throughout 2012. Travel Leaders Associates can monitor Mercavia.com and Travel Leaders’ numerous other communications vehicles to learn what new opportunities are available to them.
“Just as we have long advised our Travel Leaders to invest in their talent, we have been continually investing in our educational programs to ensure that they meet the needs not only of our agents, but also of their customers,” Block added. “The dividends our agents are experiencing have them well positioned for the future.”