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The Travel Institute Launches Accessible Travel, Newest Lifestyle Specialist Course

Jun 24, 2004
June 24, 2004


(Wellesley, MA)--The Travel Institute today released the second in a series of nine new Lifestyle Specialist courses: Accessible Travel. The course is the first in a new line of specialist courses that reflect important trends in consumer travel planning, including: Adventure Travel, Diving, Gay and Lesbian Travel, Golf, Honeymoons and Destination Weddings, Luxury Travel, Spas, and Yacht Charters.

A survey conducted in 2002 by Harris Interactive revealed that approximately 20 percent of the total U.S. population has some type of disability, and that millions of these individuals would travel one or two more times per year if their needs were better met. Accessible Travel, written in collaboration with Roberta Schwartz, CTC, director of education for the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH, www.sath.org), covers the size and scope of the market, the proper etiquette for serving travelers with disabilities, and what to look for in assessing various modes of transportation, lodging, destinations and attractions. The course also provides practical, effective marketing techniques and travel preferences designed to help travel agents, tour operators, suppliers or destinations meet the needs of this market to establish a loyal, repeat customer base.

“Accessible travel is a niche market that cuts across all niche markets. If you learn to serve the accessible travel market, it can help in every other area of travel sales. Accessible travelers’ needs cross all types of travel and all destinations,” said Schwartz.

The Travel Institute offers two levels of Lifestyle Specialist designations for each segment. By preparing for and passing a standardized test, travel professionals will earn from The Travel Institute a Specialist designation for that niche. Those Specialists then have an opportunity to become a Certified Specialist by demonstrating advanced knowledge through relevant business experience in that segment. This two-level structure applies to each of the nine courses being launched this year.

Experiential criteria for certification include: attaining at least one year of relevant travel industry experience, completing a required number of related business activities from a checklist, and maintaining the certification every five years. Certified Lifestyle Specialists will be featured prominently on The Travel Institute’s Web site and will be recognized in the trade and among consumers as having attained the industry’s highest level of specialist training. Visit www.thetravelinstitute.com for more information and to enroll in Accessible Travel or other specialist programs.

Established in 1964, The Travel Institute serves as a community of knowledge and insight for all travel professionals. Through innovative education programs, professional certifications and customized learning solutions, The Institute fulfills its non-profit mission to promote a standard of industry knowledge and excellence. For more information about The Travel Institute visit www.thetravelinstitute.com.

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CONTACT: Alexis Benson, CTA
The Travel Institute
800-542-4282 x253