What’s a CTA?

Posted on May 9, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

What do you think is a CTA? 

No, it has nothing to do with accounting, I promise.

Kristen Close up

My name is Kristen Hernandez, and I’m a CTA

A CTA is a travel professional who has been designated by the Travel Institute as a Certified Travel Associate.

This is their definition of the term: The Certified Travel Associate designation is conferred by the Travel Institute upon travel professionals who complete a rigorous certification program, demonstrate essential industry knowledge and experience, and maintain high standards of professionalism. 


 The Travel Institute has many designations a travel agent can earn. If you see letters like LS (Lifestyle Specialist), DS (Destination Specialist), ACC (Accredited Cruise Councilor), CTA, CTC and more, it means that agent has been trained and educated in very specific things. You know that you’re dealing with a professional you can trust and who has experience.

There are other ways a travel agent can become a specialist in either a particular destination or lifestyle trend.  Besides the Travel Institute, there is Travel Agent University.  I have many specialist certificates from here as well. 

For me, being designated as a CTA was a huge accomplishment.   I studied and trained for 6 months and even though I’ve been doing this for 13 years, I still learned so many different things that made my love for travel grow even more. It concerns me when I see people claiming to be travel agents when all they do is hand a customer their business card and say, “Go to my website and book online. Oh, and you can make money and travel for free as well!” If you ever hear that line – don’t walk away…run. 

This is one of the biggest travel scams out there.  Yes, there are many advantages of being a travel agent but those agents that legitamately travel for free are top sellers who have booked millions of dollars in sales.  Just about anyone can become a travel agent but it takes hard work, dedication, and lots of training to be a travel professional.  Which is why designations from places like The Travel Institute and Travel Agent University are so important.

Don’t deal with just anyone.  Ask your travel professional where they’ve been and what they’ve studied.   A good travel agent will listen very carefully to your every word, take notes on your hobbies and dislikes, remember your birthday and anniversary, and always keep your best interests at heart.  Your travel agent is your gateway to helping you experience the dreams you’ve alway wanted to live. 

So tell me, Vacation Dreamers, what do you think a travel agents’ role should be?


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