Becoming a travel agent used to be a very simple process. You would take a few classes, pass an exam, and voila!, you were in business. These days, it’s not that easy. The certification process has become more rigorous, and there are more requirements for becoming a travel agent. But don’t let that scare you off – the process is still relatively simple, and you can complete it in a few short steps.
Complete a Travel Agent Training Program
There are many online and in-person options available. You can also find programs through community colleges or universities. The best way to find a program that’s right for you is to ask other travel agents for recommendations. Once you’ve found a few programs, compare the cost, duration, and curriculum to find the one that best fits your needs.
Get Certified With The Travel Institute
The Travel Institute offers certification programs for both novice and experienced travel agents. The certification process includes an exam. You’ll have to complete a training program before you can register for the exam.
Certified Travel Associate (CTA)
This is the entry-level certification from The Travel Institute, and it’s designed for new or inexperienced travel agents. To qualify, you must have completed a Travel Institute training program. The cost of the certification program is $550, with an additional fee of $150 for the print edition of the program. There is no fee for the exam.
Certified Travel Counselor (CTC)
This is the next level up from the CTA, and it’s designed for experienced travel agents. To qualify, you must have at least two years of experience in the industry and have completed a Travel Institute training program. The cost of the certification program is $550, There is no fee for the exam.
Certified Travel Specialist (CTS)
This is the highest level of certification offered by The Travel Institute, and it’s designed for experienced travel agents with at least five years of experience. To qualify, you must have completed a Travel Institute training program. The cost of the certification program is $550. There is no fee for the exam..
After you pass the exam, you’ll receive a certificate and be able to use the designation after your name. The certification is valid for five years, after which you’ll need to retake the exam to renew your certification.
Apply For Your Business License
Once you’ve completed your training and certification, you’ll need to apply for a business license. The process for this varies from state to state, but you can usually find the information you need on your state’s website. The cost of a business license can vary depending on the state, but it typically ranges from $50-$500.
Get Registered With a Host Agency
A host agency is a company that provides support services to travel agents. This includes things like marketing, booking, and administrative assistance. You can find a host agency by searching online or asking other travel agents for recommendations. Once you’ve found a few agencies, compare their services to see which one is the best fit for you. Most host agencies do charge a registration fee. This fee usually ranges from $50 to $200, and it’s generally non-refundable.
Getting your travel agent certification is a fairly simple process, but it does require some time and effort. By completing a training program, getting registered with a host agency, and becoming certified with the Travel Institute, you’ll be well on your way to starting your own travel agent business. And don’t forget to apply for your business license!