Career Development News From IATAN and the Travel Institute

At a meeting May 9, IATAN's advisory board determined, among other things, that it would "not pursue testing at this time, as it is a complex issue and could be costly to all concerned, not only financially but also in precious time and resources," according to a statement released May 10. "The Board determined that IATAN could continue the integrity of the program with its current criteria coupled with intensified verification and random audits of ID cardholders," the statement continued. Scott Ahlsmith, chairman of the Travel Institute, responding to the news, says he is disappointed in the decision. However, he adds, "The opportunity lies in the last paragraph in IATAN's press release. The retail travel distribution channel needs to attract qualified new entrants, provide them with training, and create an exciting and profitable career path. The Travel Institute is primed to accomplish this with our Travel Career Development and Exploring the World textbooks and workbooks, plus our Travel Agency Proficiency test that ASTA helped develop. The Travel Institute has bundled these entry-level educational and testing items into a New Agent Toolbox at a price of $195." In addition, he says, "We support IATAN's initiative to inform consumers about the role of travel professionals and certification. We have already contacted them about working more closely with them to accomplish our mutual goals."

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