Professional travel agents will get a major boost from the Airline Reporting Corp.’s (ARC) newly announced ARC Accreditation and Verified Travel Consultant (VTC) Mark program.
The innovative program was launched in response to travel agents’ requests for an effective way to promote ARC credentials to both consumers and suppliers.
In the first phase of the program, ARC is focused on informing agents and the industry of the Accreditation VTC marks. In the second phase, to be launched later this year, ARC will promote the marks to business and leisure travelers.
“The new ARC Accreditation Mark may be the perfect way to highlight a travel agency’s obtainment of the gold standard in travel agent accreditation,” says Lauri Reishus, general manager of ARC’s Industry Products and Services.
“The ARC-Accredited Agency and the ARC VTC are among the most select group of dedicated professionals in the U.S. travel industry,” she adds. “They have shown an impressive commitment to meeting and maintaining the industry’s most stringent financial, personnel and security requirements. As a result, they are rightfully recognized by the world’s leading airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines and tour operators. These marks are a true embodiment of an agency’s impressive credentials.
“Whether displayed on an agency’s website or on business stationery, customers and travel suppliers will appreciate knowing that the agency is fully accredited by ARC.”
David Collins, president and CEO of ARC
David Collins, president and CEO of ARC, notes, “Our customers have told us that ARC’s brand means reliable and secure processing and settlement relationships, as well as innovative technology solutions. This is indeed the value that ARC seeks to provide to all our stakeholders and what we feel that the ARC Accreditation Mark stands for.”
ARC’s website provides agents and VTCs with a style guide offering suggested uses for the ARC Accreditation Mark and VTC Mark in electronic as well as print media.
The ARC Accreditation Mark and VTC Mark on a website becomes yet another tool for the agent to demonstrate their credentials. If the customer clicks on the mark, they are able to instantly verify the agent's accreditation status with ARC.
The VTC Mark was added to the ARC Accreditation Mark as the number of travel professionals seeking VTC certification crossed the 300 mark in late May.
The stylish, high-resolution ARC Accreditation Mark is available, free of charge, for use by all active ARC-accredited agents with an airline ticketing appointment. The VTC Mark is similarly available to ARC-certified VTCs.
Visitors to agent websites can click on the ARC Accreditation Mark and VTC Mark, which link to an interface that will verify the agency’s or VTC’s accreditation or certification status. Also, ARC’s corporate website will provide visitors with the ability to enter an agency’s ARC number to verify the agent’s accreditation status.
The new ARC Accreditation Mark program is a first for ARC, according to Alan Muten, ARC’s director of strategic communications. It’s also indicative of ARC’s expansion of services to the industry. This includes ARC COMPASS, which serves as a leading, trusted source for travel transaction information.
Muten sees ARC’s emergence as a premier provider of financial settlement solutions and data and analytical services for the travel industry as a major asset to agents. Participating airlines, travel agencies, corporate travel departments, railroads and other travel suppliers process $80 billion annually through ARC’s world-class settlement system.
ARC invites agents to learn more about the new ARC Accreditation Mark and the VTC Mark at www.arccorp.com.