As part of its ongoing efforts to provide training and education for travel advisors, Travel Edge Network has launched "Edge Advantage." Customized to the needs of the network, "Edge Advantage" is well-suited for both new-to-business advisors as well as tenured advisors who may need training in limited areas. For example, the "Build Your Business" program on website development has been in high demand with tenured advisors who have not yet taken the leap to move their business online. There are also live quarterly "Bootcamp" training programs with the directors of hotel, air, insurance, cruise, tour and activities, during which advisors of all levels can ask questions and receive live demos and responses. There are also "Limitless" conferences that host travel panels with high-performing advisors speaking on topics that are timely and relevant to the network.
For those advisors who are new to the industry and may be looking to evolve their career from a part-time hobby to a full-time profitable business, Travel Edge Network’s 90-day mentorship program offers online and one-on-one training, tools and support to expedite that process. “Although the industry offers various levels of training and education, we have really taken that commitment to the next level with our programs to help our advisors develop their skills to be more efficient, effective and equipped to deliver results for their clients,” says Michelle Leal, VP of member engagement for Travel Edge. “We know that with the return to travel, advisors are needed now more than ever and are working to keep up with the demand for the services of a professional travel advisor. As they may not have the ability or desire to take the typical two years to complete a training path, we have responded to their needs to be successful on an expedited timeline.”
Looking ahead to 2023, Travel Edge Network will continue to grow the "Edge Advantage" curriculum and a-la-carte course options for its advisors and will also launch specialist certification programs later this year in cruise, hotel, and air with other specialist programming coming in 2023.
The Edge Advantage program complements "Knowledge Trips," a concept introduced in June 2022 with an inaugural trip for independent advisors to Rwanda. “As a critical tool for advisors to achieve success, these custom designed and dedicated educational trips allow members to gain critical firsthand knowledge of our preferred partners for hotel, air, tour operators and more,” said Nadiya Makarenko, senior vice president of Travel Edge Network. “Getting to know a destination organically with a network host and with colleagues has proved to be an invaluable educational tool for our advisors across all levels of experience creating a sense of community among advisors as well as translating into actual bookings.”
Makarenko added that as a result of the trip to Rwanda and proof of concept that these trips create a unique bonding opportunity, one of the participants booked a multi-generational family safari for a corporate client with the assistance of a leisure travel specialist colleague she met on the trip.
Future "Knowledge Trips" are scheduled in October to Portugal, November to the British Virgin Islands, and Kenya in spring 2023.