News

ITT set to teach agents a lesson

THE
Institute of Travel and Tourism is in discussions with ABTA about launching an
industry-recognised qualification for travel agents.

ITT
chairman Steven Freudmann said ABTA’s education working party has agreed on the
qualification in principle and is working on a framework to deliver it, but his
preferred option would be for 75% to be achieved through examination and 25%
through experience.

Freudmann
said the aim is for the jointly-branded qualification to be recognised by the
public as a mark of professionalism so qualified retailers are seen in the same
way as accountants or chemists. He said the qualification could help persuade
the public of the benefits of using a travel agent and reverse the trend
towards do-it-yourself holidays.

“In
these days of self-packaging, companies will benefit from having trained,
qualified staff,” he said.

“If
they haven’t, the public will want to know why.”

Lunn Poly
has expressed interest in the scheme and Freudmann is meeting Thomas Cook UK
chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa this week to discuss how to link the
scheme into the company’s internal training programme.

“There
are people at Thomas Cook with good internal qualifications that are not
transferable,” said Freudmann. “A qualification that is recognised
industry-wide would encourage staff to go down the training route and that
benefits the company they work for as well.”

The
long-term aim is for agents to achieve chartered

status and
to link into ABTA’s gold training award so agencies with an agreed number of
qualified employees would achieve gold status.

Freudmann
said while the scheme could not be imposed on agencies, the use of a

logo
recognised by the public would persuade retailers of its benefits.

If
successful for agents, the qualification will be rolled out across the
industry.

 

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.