By Emily Peters
“Should I attend travel school?”
It’s a question we hear at MTravel a lot. Even in an era where hosting has become one of the most stable and effective means of building an independent travel business, it can be confusing as to whether you’ll need travel school before you begin. And while travel school can be an excellent leg up some, there are compelling reasons to opt for hosting instead.
Travel school appeals to head knowledge instead of practical knowledge
Travel school programs frequently cover useful “head knowledge” like geography, how airlines/suppliers work and even booking tools like Sabre or Apollo. But they don’t supply the opportunity to use what you’re learning in real life.
When you join a reputable host agency like MTravel, head knowledge is always coupled with its practical application. We teach when, why and how your head knowledge should be used to build a business, attract your ideal clients and design more seamless travel experiences for them. MTravel’s professional development programs like our Jump Start Series, Jump Start LIVE, MTech Academy, Annual Educational Conference, weekly webinars and more supply this information—and since you’ll technically have the legal ability to sell travel under our hosting program, you’ll be able to actually act on the knowledge you gain.
Travel school is not legally required to sell travel
Yes, you read that correctly. Unlike similar service industries like insurance and real estate, no formal certificate or training is legally required to become a travel professional.
That does not, however, preclude you from getting more education to establish yourself as an expert. While you’re free from the expense and time commitment of having to go “back to school,” the most successful travel agents are consistently adding to their skills through networking, attending professional development training events and traveling as much as they possible. To this we humbly add the following: they lean on their host agency. We’ve gained a LOT of wisdom in the last 40+ years of hosting, and you can glean from that hands-on expertise rather than signing up for yet another online class.
Travel school curriculum may not be as current as your host agency’s training
While travel school information, especially non-booking/supplier-related, can be relevant, big curriculum overhauls take time, energy and money to achieve. If you’re not taking an in-person travel school course, you may be investing in information that has since changed in the last few years.
When you partner with a host agency, what we teach isn’t just information culled from old classes. We live and breathe travel every day, working regularly with our supplier partners to stay on top of industry changes, new product releases, hot destination trends and more. Especially as a host agency AND a travel agency, MTravel is particularly well-positioned to offer the most relevant travel information because we’re actually selling it every day—just like you. Travel school simply cannot offer this.
Travel school ends
“No duh,” you might be thinking—but consider that with hosting, your professional development is constantly moving forward. Unlike static travel school courses, we’re always adding new classes, FAM trips and educational experiences to augment your expertise. Plus, the human element of our Business Development and Support Team exists to build your business, assess your growth and adjust your career path—all of which is unique to hosting and not travel school.
So should you attend travel school?
You don’t need a travel school certificate or license to start your own travel agency—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue knowledge. Reach out to MTravel to take a deep dive into our existing training programs and see if they meet or exceed your needs. You may be closer to starting your own travel business than you think!
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.