Travel Agents

MTA CEO says role of advisor is now “Distiller of information” based on client knowledge

Ali Coulton

Mobile Travel Agents (MTA) has introduced a ground-breaking in-house online accreditation program to upskill its advisors and equip them for all the challenges of business ownership.

The new program, MTA Professional Plus, was launched yesterday during a media briefing in Sydney’s Cafe del Mar by MTA CEO Don Beattie and was developed by the agency’s in-house training manager, Kristy Tate.

Beattie kicked off the launch by commenting on the impact the internet has had in changing the role of travel advisors.

“In the past consumers would approach their travel advisor because they had a greater knowledge of what was available than they did, the internet quickly changed that dynamic,” he said.

“Today consumers are generally well informed as to what is available.

“The role of the Travel Advisor has become one more of a distiller of information, of a stylist based on their knowledge of their customer and of course as trusted advisor who through their personal contacts are able to design each travel experience relative to the travel aspirations of the customer.”

With this in mind, Beattie said MTA has always had a focus on innovation and learning since Roy and Karen Merricks pioneered the national mobile travel agent model back in 2000.

“The Professional Plus program is part of our continuous development offered to our Advisors and includes some modules designed by our Head Office Support staff and key partners such as Virtuoso and CLIA to help further educate and support MTA Advisors in their development as business owners,” Beatie said.

The self-paced program is made up of nine core pathways and two optional pathways, with a focus on social media, corporate, cruise, air, land product, luxury, marketing, business and professional development.

“The various pathways are intended to help Advisors further their expertise in the capability of all MTA technology, gain master-class product knowledge, learn about small business compliance and management while providing the requisite skills needed to assist them in building client relationships and growing their business,” Beatie continued.

“Each learning pathway is divided into three levels, with content accessible from any device, even offline, with Advisors knowledge and understanding of the various components assessed along the way.

”The assessment process is quite rigorous containing both theoretical and practical demonstration of understanding with annual maintenance modules required to maintain accreditation.

“Completing MTA Professional Plus will enable advisors to market themselves as MTA Certified Travel Professionals, secure in the knowledge they will be regarded and respected as some of the best travel professionals in the industry.

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