Some 15 new TravelOnly Associates are starting off their travel career with a leg up on the competition after attending a new educational training program offered by TravelOnly and TravelBrands.
According to TravelOnly, the two-day curriculum was designed to provide an overview of the host agency’s technology systems, assist new associates with establishing their home-based business and provide an overview of the sales process.
Attendees also participated in a marketing and social media boot camp as well as introductory supplier training with Ensemble, Manulife Insurance, Royal Caribbean International and the entire lineup of TravelBrands products.
“TravelOnly is a leader in technology systems and online training programs, however we’ve listened to the feedback from our new associates who wanted to supplement that training with hands-on learning with in-person instructors. This program now meets that need and combines at home coursework, classroom training and in-depth programming with some of our key preferred partners,” said VP, Training, Holly McBean.
Over the past 10 years travel agencies have gravitated to more cost-saving, web-based technology to train new agents, focusing on recorded webinars and e-learning platforms, however TravelOnly says it recognized the impact of live training, creating TravelOnly University “to emphasize an in-person two-day program to best guide new associates on the path to success”.
McBean is a natural fit as a lead trainer – she is a past instructor at the Lambton College Hospitality and Tourism Department with over 20 years in the travel business.
The new curriculum requires students to prepare in advance with some general understanding of the industry and regulations, such as TICO, while also putting some thought into developing their client networks and marketing opportunities.
From a preferred supplier perspective, partnering with TravelBrands was a natural fit, said Ian Elliott, TravelOnly’s VP of Retail Sales and Marketing. “We needed an end-to-end partner that could help our new associates understand the booking process across a variety of travel types,” said Elliott. “From hotels to car rentals to cruises, the TravelBrands platform makes it easy for new associates to book travel for their clients, get access to promotional collateral and have a seamless experience from start to finish. We couldn’t be happier with how well their training integrated with our own.”
Added TravelBrands’ Director of Sales for Ontario, Erminia Nigro: “When we first started brainstorming on this idea together we knew that bringing TravelBrands and TravelOnly together made a lot of sense. TravelBrands offers many different travel options and has innovative technology that helps agents work smarter and not harder. We are truly known as the brand that cares and focuses on assisting agents 24/7. We look forward to training more new agents and encouraging them with knowledge, passion and all the tools to succeed in this amazing industry.”
The event received positive testimonials from new TravelOnly associates. “On top of tons of valuable information and shared knowledge, the key take-away for me was knowing that I was not alone,” said Caroline Yang.
Yang’s colleague, Haley Hutchinson agreed: “[The training] was just what I was looking for. I do well with ‘face-to-face’ learning and found it so beneficial to just talk, ask questions and hear from the others experiences.”
Based on the positive feedback and success, TravelOnly and TravelBrands say they’re looking to conduct their joint training program on a quarterly basis and expand their reach across Canada.
TravelOnly says future programs may include intermediate and advanced topics for seasoned travel professionals looking for additional training to grow their business in a competitive landscape.