Jim is the manager of a Destination Management Organization (DMO) which offers several tourist packages for people who wish to travel different serene destinations. As a part of his efforts to expand the organization, he hired travel agents who explain about different destinations to tourists and started training them. But he noticed that the training was ineffective and time taking, involving prolonged “time-off” jobs. Even after extensive training, the agents couldn’t retain the information on different destinations when the tourists enquired them. He was disappointed as the poor quality of training resulted in his business taking a beating.
This is a common problem faced by many managers of DMOs. But, why is the travel agent so important for a DMO?
According to the ASTA, 2011; Tnooz, 2011; Travel Market Report, 2011 Tnooz, it was revealed that travelers generally rely on the travel agencies and their recommendations to choose their travel destinations. This is because they believe that the agency has the required knowledge and experience to suggest the right tourist destination. This observation highlights not only the role of the travel agent in planning tours, but also the role of a DMO in training the travel agent effectively.
Previously, DMOs used different ways to train travel agents like making them read books/ magazines and attend educational trips, conferences, seminars, etc. on different destinations. However, owing to the dynamic nature of the industry, the organizations started relying on digital technologies not only to promote themselves but also to train their employees effectively.
With the number of travelers visiting new destinations increasing day by day, destination management has become very important for travel managers and their agents. The courses imparted through eLearning are going a long way filling the need and helping agents increase their knowledge.
E-learning courses on destination management can cover the following topics, which are required by travel agents.
This is the most important information needed by the travelers. All information about the main attractions at the destinations like museums, malls etc. can be included in the online course. With a good LMS,notifications and solutions related to travel packages can be introduced. In this way, announcements and e-mail notifications directly reach agents’ inboxes.
Information on the Tourist Site:
The “tourist appeal” of a place can be enhanced by providing information about the climate, currency accepted, languages spoken, nightlife and places to shop. General information on that particular destination can also be detailed as per the traveler’s requirement. Making all this information accessible on an LMS proves beneficial as it helps agents get the latest information on a tourist site.
Information on Local Transport facilities:
Many tourists would like to have information on the transportation facilities available at a tourist spot. So, the travel agent should have comprehensive information on bus and railway stations, airports and other facilities available, in the area. They can be introduced in the online course using interactive games.
Special Offers at the Destination:
Offers at a destination change from season to season. The travel agent should keep himself abreastof these ever-changing offers. These details can be introduced as scenarios or situations in an eLearning courses and given to travel agents to help them understand and explain the same to tourists.
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