About a month ago a disparaging editorial was published in Woman's Day about travel consultants. Since the article was posted, the editorial staff at Woman's Day has apologized for not scrutinizing the article for the inaccuracies and an interview with woman who has not been active in the travel business for years.
One of the many inaccurate points of the article was travel consultants are not knowledgeable about destinations and only 'push' vacations that have an incentive back to the agent. Many consultants are knowledgeable and only recommend the travel most befitting their travelers. If we didn't, we would not have repeat clientele or referrals.
Like other professionals, we have access to continuing education both through seminars series and travel opportunities. While we cannot constantly travel, a good travel advisor should try to take at least one or two travel opportunities if possible each year.
The opportunities keep our knowledge sharp and ties with our suppliers current. This is the information we need to remain at the top of the travel industry to service you, our clients, the best.
I was asked recently to contribute to one of our travel forums about the importance of continuing education through travel sponsored by our travel partners (tourism boards, hoteliers, cruise lines and suppliers). I would like to share portions the article published today with you, my friends and clients.
The Importance of Continuing Education
Adrienne Sasson, Rubinsohn Travel, Tripologist since 2007
As a travel advisor for 16 years, I always stress the importance of continuing education. The world of travel is always changing and we must stay current to plan the best experiences for our clients.
I was invited this year to Indaba in South Africa with the South African Tourism Board. Having planned the destination for clients it was finally my turn to visit.
We began in Durban, with a day full of seminars which included Indaba, South Africa's travel trade show. Both the seminars and trade show provided invaluable information and networking with preferred suppliers.excitement for South Africa and over 4000 photos. My clients are excited to hear about the trip and see the photos... Though we cannot get to every destination we desire, when the opportunity is right, don't pass it by. A small investment in education can make the difference for both the travel consultant and the client.
Following a tour of the Rovos Rail and an evening on the Blue Train, I can knowledgeably recommend rail as a luxury travel choice for South Africa. From Durban, we moved through Cape Town, Kruger National Park, Johannesburg and Soweto. My Twitter and Facebook following along.
A short flight to Mpumalanga began the safari experience, number one on my bucket list. Home for the next three days was Lions Sands in Sabi Sands. With rangers and trackers in open jeeps, we set off for the first safari as sunset fell upon the bush. Imagine telling me telling my clients about looking over the bush from a tree top suite, having cocktails.
Johannesburg was next. The most unexpected experience was Soweto. The history and rebirth of a nation came alive after visiting Mandela House and the Hector Pieterson Museum.
One of my favorite parts of travel is driving through local areas and observing daily life. Here the rural roadsides were dotted with impromptu markets for housewares, food and curbside barbershops. These special insights are like precious gems.
Twelve days went by quickly. Reluctantly I boarded the flight with renewed