Travel agents looking for a fresh perspective on an important market should take a look at ASTA’s new training course: "Paris - An Afro-centric Perspective." The online course will teach agents African-American history in the French capital and provide an insight into the African-American niche travel market. ASTA believes the market could be a huge segment of the industry and that the new course will allow agents to sell the city of Paris as a black heritage destination to new clients.
“Paris is a major tourist destination, so now is the time to learn about the thriving niche market related to this cosmopolitan city. This is the most extensive course on the market, covering the unique characteristics of the African-American traveler and what Paris has to offer to this traveler,” said course-author Monique Wells.
“Additionally, agents taking this course will have something unique and exciting to offer to mainstream travelers who already know and love Paris, and are seeking new avenues of exploration to enrich their cultural appreciation of the city,” Wells said.
“I believe the traveling public will look to us as travel agents for advice and counseling when making their travel arrangements. Our increased ability in marketing our travel expertise to the public is a valuable tool, and for impressing upon the public the travel agent’s professionalism,” said Chris Russo, ASTA president and chair.
Travel agents who take this course will acquire a basic knowledge of African-American history in Paris and will be able to respond to client questions about French attitudes toward African-American travelers. Upon completing this specialization, agents will be able to communicate various aspects of African/Diaspora culture in Paris and plan Afro-centric itineraries, ASTA reports.
The course itself includes a course manual allowing agents to develop an in-depth understanding of African-American history in Paris and related sites of interest. Sample itineraries are also included and are a great starting point for agents to create a well-rounded series of activities for their clients, ASTA says.
Wells is an 18-year resident of Paris. She and her partner Tom Reeves founded the travel planning service Discover Paris! – Personalized Itineraries for Independent Travelers in 1999. Wells is the creator of Discover Paris’ Entrée to Black Paris. Costs: $39 for the PDF for ASTA members and $49 for non-members. Visit www.ASTA.org/Education.