The Family Travel Association is proud to announce the launch of the FTA Certification program for travel agents that specialize in family travel. This certification course is the first of it’s kind in the travel industry and sets the standard for knowledge, expertise and excellence for agents that make working with families and traveling with children a priority.
The goal of the program is to provide travel planners with the necessary insights and information to grow business and achieve success in family travel sales. This training is informed by relevant market research studies and real life examples. FTA Certified Family Travel Agents will have a competitive advantage to confidently deliver family vacation experiences that exceed client expectations at every life stage. In addition, consumers will have peace of mind when they work with travel agents who display the badge of Certified Family Travel Specialists.
The “FTA Academy” is supported by MSC Cruises and open to all current Family Travel Association agent members. The program consists of 23 video modules offering insightful and thought provoking content for agents at every stage of their career. FTA Academy was created by Sally Black, Director of Travel Agent Initiatives at the FTA. Sally brings over 20 years of experience and agent training from her travel agency Vacationkids and has the unique perspective as an author and former pediatric nurse. After agents have completed the informative and entertaining training videos, they must pass a 50 question comprehensive online test to receive their certification.
Upon successful completion with a passing grade, agents will receive a certification document and “badge” that they can proudly display on their website, email signatures, business cards and marketing materials. This is a way to demonstrate to their clients, as well as the travel industry, their dedication, knowledge, expertise and commitment to excellence when creating vacation experiences for families.
“New agents, or agents new to the lucrative family market, will gain a better appreciation of the challenges of planning memorable travel experiences for families,” says Black. “This training addresses the skills to overcome these unique challenges. Experienced agents will certainly appreciate new insights into this ever-evolving family market thanks to the FTA’s research partnership with NYU School of Professional Studies, The Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. This research will help agents adjust their business plans with respect to many new opportunities in family travel sales. In addition, seasoned agents can use this program to onboard new talent and grow their agencies more efficiently.”
Now that the FTA Certification program is complete, the next phase is to build a comprehensive Family Travel Resource Center offering exclusive agent tools. Black plans to collaborate with FTA supplier members to create “one of a kind” sales tools which are specific to the family travel market. The goal is to help agents find family travel details that are often hidden or overlooked in existing formats. The FTA will also create video based product training and webinars specific to families, especially from smaller more niche suppliers that offer unique family experiences. A library of curated content by travel agents just for travel agents will also be created. Finally a stock photo library accessible to travel agent members that honestly reflects family diversity in today’s family travel market is in the works.
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