Ensemble Travel Group reports the launch of Ensemble Learning Journeys, a program designed to help members tap into the lucrative education market. Ensemble Learning Journeys targets both the 25-and-under student population – a segment which currently exceeds $14 billion annually in overnight group travel – as well as those travelers considered “life-long learners,” Ensemble says.
The curriculum is designed for Ensemble by Carol Dimopoulos, president of Learning Journeys. The program offers Ensemble members in the U.S. the tools they need to effectively approach high school and university administrators and other small groups with unique, hands-on learning adventures, according to Ensemble’s Suzanne Hall, senior director, marketing and development, land products.
“Ensemble Learning Journeys will put members on the fast track to success in this very profitable segment of new business,” said Hall, who the program during the 2012 Ensemble International Conference in Las Vegas. “The certification program will equip members with the tools they need to reach clients they’ve never had access to, especially at the high school and college level. This initiative is just another example of how Ensemble is always exploring ways to help members uncover new customer bases and revenue sources.”
Dimopoulos says that selling to the education market requires a totally new sort of skills for travel counselors. “It is a very specialized and therefore unfamiliar territory for most travel agents,” noted Dimopoulos. “Educators have their own lingo, expectations, and way of doing things. The training really focuses on how to capitalize on those hot buttons.”
Participating members will access the Ensemble Learning Journeys curriculum (between eight and 11 modules in length) primarily online with the introduction component and possibly several others delivered live at individual offices or in small regional settings. Degrees, diplomas, and certification as a “Learning Journeys Master” will be awarded based upon the level of completed study. In addition, specialists can attend yearly symposiums to learn about emerging educational experiences in targeted destinations around the world.
The customized escorted itineraries are designed to combine cultural immersions with hands-on education to ignite clients’ passions and interests in a certain discipline.
Each Ensemble Learning Journey will be designed by educators in that specific field of study based on the needs of the particular group. Ensemble members will work with Learning Journeys staff, all of whom are veteran educators trained at targeting specific markets. Experienced tour manager/escorts will be on-site to deliver these life-changing encounters for students of all ages, Ensemble says.
In addition to the education market, Hall notes that many of these itineraries appeal to families, multi-generational, and other small-group experiences.
A comprehensive Ensemble Learning Journeys brochure has also been produced for members, which includes sample itineraries designed for the academic and FIT/small group/family markets.
In addition, a Learning Journeys website has been launched featuring sample programs, destination information, learning experiences in each destination, and selling tools. Future plans call for the site to include an agency locator for member specialists.