How do travel agents obtain all their knowledge about the travel products that they offer?
There are many, many ways. Travel agents work very hard at keeping up to date with every change happening in the travel industry and also in their specialized fields. A good travel agent specializes usually in only one or two products (cruises or Disney or Destination Weddings or like myself; all-inclusive vacations). It’s a lot easier to focus on the small than the entire world and every kind of travel option out there. Even though most agents specialize; I do enjoy booking all types of vacations. That’s the fun part of my job. It’s exciting to learn new and difference travel options.
There are many ways that we keep current in our specialties. Just this past weekend, I attended a training conference called MLT University in Minneapolis. This three day conference consisted of classes in various destinations (I took Costa Rica, the Hawaiian Islands, Aruba, Las Vegas and Scotland). I also attended classes on resort brands (Iberostar, Barcelo, Hard Rock, Riu and Disney) as well as learning more about Destination Weddings and Escorted European Tours and River Cruises. During our lunch breaks, there were guest speakers imparting their words of wisdom and experience on how to be better at what we do. After a day of classes, we then went to the “Trade Show” where we could meet with the various representatives from all of the travel products and destinations and everything travel. It was a very busy three day weekend, but I walked away with some good contacts and some excellent information that I can pass on to my clients.
There are dozens of these conferences and seminars held throughout the year across the country. There are also smaller “traveling” shows where a travel provider will hold seminars closer to our home in the evening after your work day. These shows are crammed full with resort upgrades and destination updates in just a few hours time and are a vital source of up to date information to keep the travel agent current.