Travel Agents

Flight Centre schools agents in new launch

Flight Centre is schooling travel agents – but not in the way you think. The mammoth travel group’s Travel Academy has teamed up with Torrens University Australia to create an educational gamechanger.

Flight Centre Travel Academy and Torrens Uni have developed a bespoke Diploma of Travel and Tourism, specifically designed to train and qualify professional staff to meet the needs of the rapidly changing travel industry.

And if our previous articles about the rise and rise of OTAs or the development of new travel disruptors are anything to go by, this degree could be massive.

Purposely designed to enhance hands-on skills, this diploma will see students spend a whopping 50 per cent of their time studying online, with the other half spent with Flight Centre Travel Academy, where they’ll get actual firsthand knowledge and experience in the industry, complete with expert trainers.

Anthony Mitri, Director of Innovation, Industry and Employability, Torrens University Australia, said the course has been created to give future recruits a red hot go in the ever-changing travel industry.

“The curriculum for this unique course has been created not just for students keen to work for Flight Centre, but for anyone interested in a career in the travel and tourism sector, with broad business subjects included to ensure our students gain a holistic understanding of the industry, as well as the specific and soft skills employers are seeking in future recruits,” he said.

While the Diploma of Travel and Tourism is a stand-alone qualification, graduating students will also have an option to fast track their application to the William Blue at Torrens University’s Bachelor of Business (Tourism Management), where they’ll also nab a Recognition of Prior Learning for the Diploma subjects completed.

During their training at Flight Centre Travel Academy, students will score essential on-the-job lessons with experienced Flight Centre Travel Group consultants.

“This will allow for graduates to not just be job-ready, they will be highly sought after for their systems knowledge, practical sales experience and unmistakable enthusiasm for travel,” said Ashleigh Hunnam, Flight Centre Travel Academy National Brand Leader.

And it’s exactly this kind of experience and knowledge travel agencies will be demanding of their agents in the future. Following five years of massive growth, the travel agency and tour operator sector is predicted to hit a massive revenue of $8.3 billion by 2018.

Demand is expected to continue in the coming years on the back of low airfares and rising inbound and domestic tourism numbers, with research anticipating a 4.7 per cent annual rise in revenue in the years to 2023 to reach $10.4 billion.

“This sustained growth will be accompanied by solid demand from employers for skilled travel professionals with a future-focused outlook and the up-to-date skills required of a travel agent in the digital era,” said Mitri.

“The growth in the number of online travel services, as well as bricks-and-mortar businesses will also drive higher demand for skilled employees.”

Australia’s online travel sector has put in a stellar performance in recent years, with annualised revenue growth of 17.7 per cent over the pasts five years.

And while growth is expected to slow to approximately 10.3 per cent this financial year, followed by around 8.5 per cent per year in the years to 2022, Professor Beilby said increasingly sophisticated mobile technology, internet speeds and new online platforms developed by major industry players would lead to new travel jobs for future graduates.

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