Updated: Nov 25, 2020
If you’re going to trust your trip to a travel professional, you’d expect your advisor to be experienced and to hold a number of industry and supplier qualifications. This is true even during the most mundane and uneventful years, I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has been anything but!
Excellent reviews and a popular website are a good start, but you can really spot a professional where they’re impassioned to better their own skills and to provide superior services through continuing education.
We're doing our part to Build a Better Normal, upgrading our expertise to help you plan a better trip in 2021 and beyond!
Our commitment to your trip’s success can be reflected in our Team’s commitment to our collective professional development. It’s been an unbelievably busy year, but I myself added two great certifications during the disruption while our Caribbean Specialist, Yvonne, is now our Caribbean, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings Specialist!
During March, when the initial declaration of pandemic had been made by the World Health Organization, it became evident that much of the year’s travel was at risk. To ensure our clients’ interests were protected and to maintain our superior level of customer service, we decided to upgrade our skills.
How else would we deliver what you’ve come to expect of us as cruise & travel returns?
Yet it was also a frightening time behind the scenes. Countless colleagues and some of our closest friends in the business were being furloughed or had lost their own businesses. A small few were lucky enough to be in a position to retire, but more than seven months later I’m still in shock by the number of amazing professionals who remain adrift.
Travel is without a doubt one of the greatest industries around. Not only is it one of the largest employers on the planet, providing jobs for more than 320 million people in 2019, but it is a welcoming place full of smiles rather than the playing of politics or underhanded dealings I’ve seen among other industries.
Any large industry needs an incredible foundation of education to set the right path for newcomers, it also needs leadership to help everyone at each level of experience to grow and succeed.
I was lucky enough to find one such opportunity, thanks to the incredible Dr Peter Ricci. Leaning on his resources, he assembled some of the biggest names in South Florida’s sizeable tourism community, and then provided new and relevant opportunities to excel.
I am proud to share that I achieved a Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism Management from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business by the time April had come to close.
During this same period our erstwhile Caribbean Specialist, Yvonne, was coming to the end of her 3-year study period in pursuit of a Honeymoon & Destination Weddings Specialist designation.
Yvonne's qualification has a comprehensive 3-year study component
Having Yvonne on the team since 2017 I like to think we know each other well – I do not doubt that the added pressures of rescheduling client weddings and honeymoons, as well as navigating the stresses of COVID at home were actually motivating and not stress inducing.
Yvonne’s achievement is no small feat, successful completion of the course required the achievement of numerous destination-specific qualifications in order to prepare her fully for the romance-specific offerings. She’s now truly capable of planning and recommendations beyond that of her peers.
Right off the back of my FAU Certification I dedicated my weekends throughout the May to September period to complete the 200+ hours of coursework which would prepare me for the Certified Travel Associate exam.
The CTA designation is offered exclusively through The Travel Institute. Among the oldest such organizations around, they’ve been setting the gold-standard in travel since 1964.
As above, the course itself features more than 200 hours of material and requires a 70% minimum passing grade over a 2-hour, proctored exam. It also holds a pre-requisite time in industry and weekly hours worked.
We've been leading the way in qualifications since our inception back in 2016, we’re determined to make 2020’s legacy one of more and better service to you. With more great updates to share next month during our 4th Anniversary celebrations, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the return to Cruise & Travel and what great things are in store for 2021 and beyond!
Here at Odyssean Travel, our mission is pretty simple. We want you to make better vacation memories with the people who matter most in your life.
Because we’re a small, family owned business, we need your help to spread the word so we can aid more travelers in this mission! Simply by sharing this post or even just leaving a comment will help us help others enjoy a better, more memorable trip.
You can find answers to your cruise & travel questions in our friendly online community, our Travel Society and online forum (click here).
If you enjoy a superior level of service and want an unforgettable vacation experience of your own, contact us now to arrange a complimentary One-on-One Discovery Session with a qualified, professional travel advisor (click here).