COMMENT: Why training is essential in this fast-moving world

By Cherie Richards, commercial director of The Global Travel Group

When I started out in the travel industry, most of my post-college training was done on the job as a junior travel consultant in an agency. However, one thing that quickly struck me was that learning would be an ongoing, lifelong process.

From swotting up on popular holiday destinations and getting my head around evolving travel styles to mastering new systems, there were always ways to improve my industry knowledge and brush up on my workplace skills.

Cherie Richards
Cherie Richards

Fast forward a few years and my belief that agent success depends on how much preparation you put in remains just as true as ever. So it’s good to know that our emphasis on ongoing professional training is something that The Global Travel Group members regularly tell us shines through at every stage of their journey with us.

Regardless of their background, whenever a new agent comes on board one of the first things we do is help them tap straight into our Training Academy and enroll on our tailored two-week training course. Whether they’re new to the industry or an experienced travel pro starting their own business, we customise their training accordingly to make sure they stay one step ahead of the competition.

In recent years we’ve certainly seen a growing trend for travel agency veterans who, armed with their wealth of specialist knowledge, see a fantastic opportunity in branching out on their own and enjoying the flexibility of working from home. Our dedicated training team has therefore been able to refine the support we offer these travel experts, being mindful of the areas where we can help deliver the most value in making their business a success story, such as product and marketing.

But, whilst technology seems to be making the world a smaller and more accessible place, travel continues to be one of the most dynamic and fast-growing industries in town. And, with so many exciting developments in the sector, it stands to reason that training should be a continuous learning experience.

If I think back to when I started out as an agent in Shrewsbury’s town centre, I certainly couldn’t have predicted that touring and adventure would explode in popularity to become one of tourism’s biggest success stories. And I certainly could never have guessed how reliant on digital technology customers would become – as much for booking as for keeping in touch whilst away. This is why I believe it’s so important for us all to stay on top of the latest developments, and is also the reason that the Global Travel Group team places so much emphasis on delivering the best possible training and learning solutions for our members.

From downloadable guides, ‘how to’ video tutorials and over 100 specialised modules on everything from bonding arrangements to social media marketing, our members have round-the-clock access to all the resources they need to trade confidently and profitably. And this autumn our team will be back on the road with our regional roadshows to keep our agents’ cruise and luxury skills up to date.

So, with the average age of our members being 42, I think it’s safe to say that you’re never too old or too experienced to learn something new. Especially something that could help you gain such a professional advantage.

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