Significant investment in advisor recruitment and training through the American Society of Travel Advisors will bolster the sales force required to meet increasing industry demand.
Alexandria, V.A., November 8, 2022 — The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is thrilled to announce that Norwegian Cruise Line, a longstanding Proud Partner, has committed a $250,000 investment to accelerate the trade association’s training and education programs for new-to-the-industry travel advisors—the largest single donation from a cruise line to bolster this type of effort.
These programs are designed to grow the travel advisor workforce by providing the core knowledge required to meet the needs of today’s traveler, while simultaneously helping the industry secure a bright future for the travel advisor profession.
In early September, ASTA launched a new website, a first and important step in attracting and educating new-to-industry talent. This generous investment from Norwegian will further enhance the Society’s web presence and functionality—making it seamless for new talent to access the essential education and training resources currently offered. Through a series of robust consumer-facing digital advertisements, distributed through social media and targeted search, ASTA will begin an earmarked lead funnel by providing free access to a revised Becoming a Travel Advisor resource guide.
There are many combinations of opportunities available to those interested in this profession. The Becoming a Travel Advisor guide will help people understand their options and how to match with the right path for their next steps toward success. Recently updated through the Society’s in-house team of industry experts in consultation with leaders across the industry, the free resource outlines a step-by-step guide that anyone considering this profession would need to know. It covers the various travel agency business models, how to make money as a travel advisor, how to start a travel business and the necessary credentials, and it also includes an essential glossary of industry terms and acronyms.
“If someone is interested in becoming a travel advisor, they first have to understand the landscape of our industry and the variety of pathways available to them,” said Zane Kerby, President & CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors. “Our new and complementary Becoming a Travel Advisor resource has been updated to reflect the variety of options available for those interested in selling travel.”
The Society will use the Becoming a Travel Advisor guide as their starting point for building a robust database of interested candidates ready to pursue a career in selling travel.
“Our travel advisors are incredibly important to the Company, and this investment further showcases our complete commitment to the travel agent community,” said Harry Sommer, President, and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “ASTA has been a great partner to NCL and to travel advisors all around the world, and we are extremely proud to be able to support them with providing advisors with extensive training and educational programs.”
“There are so many ways someone can join the ranks of our industry. First, we must show them the range of exciting possibilities This generous support from Norwegian will help us rapidly build the top of this essential talent funnel,” continued Kerby. “Through creative advertising, we’ll build a substantial reservoir of interested candidates—a first step in growing the travel advisor workforce. We’ll continue to nurture this audience with targeted outreach, ultimately matching them with the best pathway for selling travel. The backing from Norwegian gives us greater capacity to scale this operation and build passion and excitement with those entering the world of selling travel.”
Despite economic pressures, people are not holding back on travel. Seventy-five percent of Americans plan to spend the same or more on travel in 2023, compared to 2022, and twenty-five percent plan to take a dream vacation by March 2023. Travel advisors are busier than ever because their role is more important than ever. In fact, ASTA’s research found that thirty-three percent of those who use a travel advisor used one to book a cruise.
Training the next generation of talent will help relieve strains on the travel systems because more travelers will have the customer support and preparation that only a professional travel advisor can provide. More trained and qualified travel advisors will mean more customers getting matched to the right travel products—including cruises.
Anyone interested can download the free Becoming a Travel Advisor resource today.
ABOUT NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE: For more information about the Company’s award-winning 18-ship fleet and worldwide itineraries, or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional, call 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit www.ncl.com.