The Travel Institute kicked off its 50th anniversary by launching two totally rebuilt curriculums for its Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE) certification courses. The institute says both courses offer totally new content and an online platform to better meet the needs of travel agents and industry executives.
Founded as the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) in 1964 and rebranded as The Travel Institute in 2003, to-date nearly 48,000 professionals have completed its Certified Travel Agent (CTA), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC), Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE), Destination Specialist (DS) and Lifestyle Specialist (LS) programs.
The Travel Institute notes it is the original certification-based organization in the travel industry specifically geared to advancing the knowledge, personal development and business expertise of the travel agent and travel executive. New taglines were also released for the CTC and CTIE programs.
“Our staying power has always been our relevance – our ability to remain a step ahead of what the travel professional needs,” said Jack E. Mannix, chairman of The Travel Institute and principal of Jack E. Mannix & Associates. “The revised curriculums for these two critical certifications are the first of several initiatives we have planned to celebrate this milestone for our organization and the industry in 2014.”
To be officially launched on Feb. 3, the CTC and CTIE programs have been totally reinvented to offer participants a fresh approach to managing and leading their travel business in today’s rapidly changing and challenging environment, the Institute says.
Instead of a static PDF learning environment, both curriculums offer a new platform that is interactive and online for accessibility 24/7, the Institute says. In addition to online courses that include purposefully placed exercises and quizzes that reinforce one’s mastery of concepts, the new blended-learning models include audio podcasts, white papers and videos. Students have 12 months to complete their respective certification program, the Institute says.
The rebuilt CTC curriculum offers students the opportunity to further advance their expertise by choosing a first-ever major from five different topic areas, in addition to the 10 core competencies, which range from project planning to emotional intelligence. Majors include marketing, management, sales and customer relationships, communication and personal development.
Within each chosen discipline are 12-15 units of study, plus a series of white papers and podcasts for further insights. Participates benefit from such white papers as “Utilizing Travel Quality Standard Surveys to Improve Customer Service” and “The Importance of Successfully Hiring and Retaining Effective Employees” and podcasts such as “Show Them the Love: Customers are Willing to Pay For It” and “Five Ways to Make the Human Connection.”
The CTIE curriculum has also been overhauled to meet the needs of the busy travel professional not working in a frontline agent capacity, the institute says.
The coursework focuses on leadership skills and incorporates material and strategic thought from leaders both inside and outside of the travel industry, including interviews with members of the Harvard Business Review. Among the videos: an interview with Jim Collins, author of Great by Choice and the Essence of Leadership by Colin Powell, former secretary of state.
In spite of the expanded curriculums for both the new CTC and CTIE programs, the cost remains the same at $495 each, the institute says, with The Travel Institute members receiving a 10-percent savings. A 12-month interest-free payment plan is also available.