The Travel Weekly Academy is going from strength to
strength, with six new training programmes coming online in the
next two months.

Thomas Cook Signature is the latest operator to sign up to the
Travel Weekly Academy, with modules covering short breaks,
long-haul and upmarket product. To help agents study the programme,
the Thomas Cook Signature training includes fictitious travel
agency staff who guide students through each module and test them
on what they’ve learned.

In order to answer the questions and work through each section,
agents will need to refer to the current Thomas Cook Signature
brochures, as well as the operator’s website.

Agents who complete the course receive a certificate and the chance
to win a place on a Thomas Cook Signature educational. The
programme is divided into four sections:

Getting to know us
This section gives an overview of the Thomas Cook
Signature brand, its portfolio and history. Once they have
completed the section, agents are tested on their brand
knowledge.

There is a separate section on Thomas Cook Signature Online,
introducing the site and showing how to use it in the most
effective way to maximise service and sales. This section teaches
agents how bookings are cancelled, what to do with booking queries
and how to retrieve bookings or print information off for
customers.

Two tests round up the module, one on making a booking and another
on retrieving and viewing information.

Short breaks
This section is divided into two areas: Disneyland Resort Paris and
Cities with Style. The Disneyland section teaches students
everything from how to get to Disneyland, the different hotels
available and the ‘magical extras’ offered.

Academy students learn what shows are available, which ones can be
pre-booked, which hotels are furthest from the resort and which
have Disney characters appearing at breakfast.

The section also covers the types of passes and packages offered
and the programmes available for kids.

Meanwhile, the Cities with Style section covers more than 50
destinations available through Thomas Cook Signature. It looks at
multi-centre trips available, excursions, hotels, transfers and
bookings. Did you know bookings made to European cities at least 90
days before travel are eligible for a 10% discount? Testing is
divided into four areas: France, Italy, Spain, and long-haul short
breaks.

Long haul
Do you know the wettest and the driest months in Egypt?
Can you recommend the best time of year for a family with young
children to visit Dubai? Or help those who want an adventure
holiday, and want to see a grisly bear?

Working through the sections in the long-haul module will help
agents discover the answers to all the above questions.

Students also learn everything from the airlines that offer free
stopovers to the best beaches in the Caribbean. This module
consists of nine parts with a test on each: Caribbean; Walt Disney
World and Orlando; Dubai; Egypt; Canada; Southern Africa; the
Indian Ocean; Far East; and America.

The module covers how to get there, where to stay, what to do, and
what to see in each of the different areas. It also gives tips,
such as offering customers the chance to buy theme park tickets before going to Walt
Disney World, which saves them time and trouble, and boosts your
sales.

A Touch of Class
This section covers the more luxurious services available through
Thomas Cook, and is divided into four sections: Latitude; Eastern
tailor-made; Thomas Cook Tours; and Weddings.

Do you have a customer looking to splash out on a luxury holiday of
a lifetime? The Latitude section shows you how to use the dedicated
website so you can find the finest hotels in the best
locations.

If you have a client who wants a more individual holiday, then the
Eastern tailor-made section allows you to take all their requests
into account, and combine a number of destinations in the
itinerary.

Did you know extensions were available on Thomas Cook tours? Or
that there is an exclusive 150th anniversary tour available this
year? Meanwhile, the Weddings section will help you to plan
someone’s special day from flights to excursions.

The Travel Weekly Academy is proving increasingly popular with
more than 7,000 agents registered.

New academies coming online within the next two months are
Germany, Fiji, Hawaii, BWIA and North Carolina. Travel Weekly sales
director Julie McInally said: “We are encouraged by the high
level of support from the trade for the Academy. It is an effective
use of everyone’s time and effort. “Agents can study in
their own time, and for companies that have signed up it’s an
easy way to get their training message out to the
masses.”

If you want Travel Weekly to design a training programme for your
organisation, contact Julie McInally on: 020-8652 8211.