Travel Leaders and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) have announced an exclusive, three-year agreement to create and execute a proprietary specialization program for Travel Leaders travel agents.
Qualifying participants include both those Travel Leaders agents who already possess a level of expertise in adventure travel and those who wish to become more proficient at selling active and adventure travel.
Travel Leaders’ Active & Adventure Travel Specialists will be added to the ATTA consumer website (www.adventure.travel), providing qualified leads and new sales opportunities to agents specializing in this growing segment of the travel industry – adding to the leads already provided by Travel Leaders’ Agent Profiler. The new partnership will also include special invitations, exclusively for select Travel Leaders travel agents, to attend various ATTA conferences and events domestically and internationally, along with related adventure travel experiences pre- and post-conference.
The cornerstone of the collaboration is the exclusive specialist training program. Candidates in Travel Leaders’ Active & Adventure Travel Specialist program will have to complete modules that demonstrate a range of background and skills that Travel Leaders and ATTA jointly regard as prerequisites in order to be recognized as knowledgeable, respected specialists in this niche. The program and the full extent of the relationship between the two organizations is being announced at Travel Leaders’ Regional Meetings this month.
While the active and adventure travel markets involve some level of physical activity, much of what encompasses the “active” niche includes soft adventure such as trekking, cycling, kayaking and culturally-immersive travel experiences, Travel Leaders said in a release announcing the new partnership. Extreme adventures such as skydiving, caving or mountaineering make up a much smaller, but important opposite end of the spectrum. Through the training, agents are required to become familiar with the various tours offered through adventure travel tour operators and the opportunities available in destinations well known for their active and cultural components.
The Travel Leaders Active & Adventure Travel Specialist program is modeled on the existing Travel Leaders’ Luxury Travel Specialist and Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Specialist programs, and others offered via Travel Leaders’ Education & Training department. The ATTA currently offers AdventureEDU courses for tour operators, governments and associations seeking to deliver adventure travel experiences in a safe and sustainable practice. However, the exclusive, joint program with Travel Leaders will be the ATTA’s first educational program geared exclusively for travel agents.
Open to all Travel Leaders travel agents and affiliated Independent Contractors (ICs), participants will be required to complete a curriculum broken into seven modules. Some modules in this program may be approved third-party training modules, such as destination specialist designations offered by various destination marketing organizations and specialist designations offered by active and adventure tour operators, cruise lines and properties that are associated with both Travel Leaders and the ATTA. Other requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Researching and reporting on market size, composition and trends in two verticals in the active and adventure travel space
- Assessing products provided by current Travel Leaders active or adventure preferred supplier partners (tour, cruise, property)
- Attending multiple ATTA webinars
- Attending multiple Travel Leaders active/adventure travel supplier webinars
- Attending, and reporting on, local active and adventure travel consumer shows/events
- Participating in, and reporting about, active/adventure supplier familiarization trips
- Applying to attend ATTA-hosted travel agent opportunities, including Adventure Travel World Summit, ATMEX (AdventureTravel Mexico), AdventureNEXT, and various AdventureWeeks in destinations worldwide
- Creating an itinerary report using approved suppliers serving target destination
- In-depth travel planning with recommendations for three provided case studies or actual examples from agent
- Developing a comprehensive Active & Adventure Travel customer marketing plan