Now that government restrictions have started to slowly ease in Canada and Canadians are looking to travel again, many ACTA travel agency members say they are already experiencing labour shortages.
The agency association says the shortage of experienced travel agents is expected to be a significant issue for Canada’s retail travel industry in the months and years to come.
“Travel agents were the most impacted labour group by COVID over the past two years according to Stats Canada,” said Wendy Paradis, ACTA president.” As consumer confidence builds and travel demand picks up, we are going to need to attract more travel agents to our industry.”
Even prior to COVID the shortage of travel agents was one of the key issues ACTA Travel Agency Members identified as facing the travel industry.
“With this in mind, in 2019, ACTA worked with our members to update the Travel Agent National Occupation Standards, and developed an entry level online training program for new travel agents based on these standards,” said Paradis.
Over the past few years, ACTA has also met with travel supplier partners and travel industry regulators to discuss travel agent standards. One of the issues discussed with regulators was key customer service issues consumers have identified when dealing with a travel agent.
Since the emergence of COVID in 2020, ACTA says it has used the time to refine the Travel Agent Essentials online training program. The updated English language program is available now, and the French language program will be available by March 31, 2022.
The online travel agent training program will help educate new entrants, as well as assist them to move through their career and achieve their Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) and Certified Travel Manager (CTM) designations.
Travel Agent Essentials covers all the core fundaments of travel including travel agency operations, air travel, ground transportation, cruising and land accommodation and packages.
“With 100% of training provided online, participants learn and study at their own pace in their own place,” said Paradis.
There will be an ACTA webinar on Travel Agent Essentials to learn more, March 29 in English or March 31 in French. You can register here.
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