WHY IT RATES: Internova Travel Group’s successful travel advisor training school, Travel Leaders of Tomorrow, is welcoming a new wave of trainees in the wake of the pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis spurred a sort of renaissance in terms of travel advisors’ relevance in today’s world, leading more people to consider the calling as a career. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
Travel Leaders of Tomorrow, the leading travel advisor training school that is part of travel industry powerhouse Internova Travel Group, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2023 with plans to refresh its curriculum and introduce a new training module for corporate travel advisors.
Currently, Travel Leaders of Tomorrow offers two programs: Independent Learner and Virtual Campus. Independent Learner is an online-only program where students can go through lessons at their own pace. Travel Leaders of Tomorrow’s most popular option, the Virtual Campus, brings together cohorts of students for instructor-led sessions, guest lectures, virtual study halls and a final business plan presentation. Since its inception, Travel Leaders of Tomorrow has had over 2,000 people finish the course and become travel advisors, both as independent consultants and employees for existing travel agencies.
Throughout the pandemic, the demand for Travel Leaders of Tomorrow remained. “The popularity of becoming a travel advisor has grown in recent years, and Covid did not affect interest in the profession,” said Jackie Friedman, CTC, CTIE, Dean of Travel Leaders of Tomorrow. Friedman is also President of Nexion Travel Group, North America’s premier host agency that is part of Internova Travel Group. “In fact, the pandemic brought to light the horrors of travel disruption, raising the value of travel advisors, who stepped in for clients and saved the day.”
Many people also learned new skills during quarantine. The travel slowdown allowed new advisors to focus on their training and go through programs like Travel Leaders of Tomorrow. “It was actually a very good time for people to start their career in travel,” continued Friedman. “Our students have always been strong, but over the last few years, new entrants to the industry have brought a tremendous amount of passion and hope. Attributes like a love of travel, a desire to be in a helping profession, and a passion for being a small business owner makes the travel advisor profession very attractive to a variety of people. We are finding that Travel Leaders of Tomorrow attracts people who might have never even considered this as a profession—yet they have all the right attributes and just need some education and support to become successful travel advisors.”
Travel Leaders of Tomorrow’s participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from recent college graduates to those pursuing an encore career after retirement. Its flexible schedule is especially popular with those currently working a day job and looking for a side gig. Approximately 50% of the people who have gone through the program are under the age of 40.
Savannah Hill, owner of The Savvy Travel Agency went through the program in 2016, and attributes much of her success to it. “As a new travel advisor, I needed guidance and education,” Hill said. “Travel Leaders of Tomorrow gave me a framework for learning the travel industry and a support group of fellow new advisors. Their faculty were also a key part of my development, teaching the curriculum that helped me understand how to run a travel agency.”
“Young people see this as a viable career, and they are some of our strongest graduates,” notes Friedman. “Because of their age, they often have a younger clientele, meaning that more and more of Millennials and Gen Z are seeing travel advisors are a very normal and expected part of booking travel.”
In celebration of Travel Leaders of Tomorrow’s upcoming 10th anniversary, anyone who attends the New York International Show on Oct. 29 or 30, and visits the Travel Leaders of Tomorrow booth (Booth 738), is eligible to receive $100 off the first education module.
For more information, visit travelleadersoftomorrow.com.
SOURCE: Travel Leaders of Tomorrow press release.