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Sunday, 01 March 2015 00:00

The Travel Institute Today

Written by  Douglas Cooke

The Travel Institute, formerly known as the Institute for Certified Travel Agents (ICTA), has changed significantly since I first earned my CTC back in the mid 80’s. The only certification offered then was CTC, as well as a few Destination Specialist courses. Today’s Travel Institute has embraced technology and added additional certifications. Despite these changes, the Travel Institute’s mission remains the same: to enhance travel agent knowledge and excellence, and provide a measurement of professionalism in the
travel industry.

CTC, CTA, CTIE Designations
These programs are the heart of the Travel Institute and offer travel industry professionals the chance to enhance their  knowledge and establish an enhanced level of professionalism in the eyes of their clients. In 2014, 750 agents enrolled in the CTA program and approximately 200 agents enrolled in the
CTC program.
The CTA (Certified Travel Associate) program is for agents with a minimum of 18 months experience and is customizable depending on the electives chosen. It focuses on selling skills, customer service, destination knowledge and communication skills.
Recognized as the gold standard in the travel industry for over 50 years, the CTC program is for agents with a minimum of 5 years industry experience. All CTC candidates take 10 core courses and then are able to customize their experience based on individual needs.
For those industry professionals seeking to enhance their leadership skills, the CTIE (Certified Travel Industry Executive) course fits the bill. It is open to all travel industry professionals with a minimum of 5
years experience.

Specialist Training Programs
The Travel Institute offers destination specialist and niche specialist courses to give agents the detailed knowledge they need. Eleven destination courses and eight niche market courses are currently available. In 2014 several of these courses were revised, and several more are scheduled for revision in 2015. Additionally, a new Destination Specialist course for Italy is due to launch Spring of 2015. Some of these courses are offered in an interactive online format, while others are in print or e-book format. Testing for all these courses is available either in print or online

Agent Training Tools
The Travel Institute also offers many ongoing online learning programs, from webinars to Hot Tip Tuesday emails. Some of these are offered only to Travel Institute members and others are open to all.
For more information of any the aforementioned programs, visit their website:

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