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MTA Professional Plus launch

There is no doubt that the role of a travel advisor has changed substantially over the years and whereas in the past consumers would approach their Travel Advisor because they had a greater knowledge of what was available than they did, the internet quickly changed that dynamic. Today consumers are generally well informed as to what is available, relative to the extent of their research, the role of the Travel Advisor has become one more of a distiller of information, of a stylist based on their knowledge of their customer and of course as trusted advisor who through their personal contacts are able to design each travel experience relative to the travel aspirations of the customer.

Continuous innovation and learning have always been important factors for us at MTA and our history demonstrates this emphatically.

In 2000 Roy and Karen Merricks pioneered the national mobile travel agent model and have always sought out ways in which to support their Advisors. The result of this support is evidenced today by the quality and expertise of MTA Advisors MTA is able to attract and their continued recognition within the industry.

Since then MTA has maintained its leadership in its market segment by continuing to invest and introduce systems and capability to enhance the support of its Advisors, while maintaining what Karen Merricks often refers to as “our family feel”. She goes on to say that “cultural fit and travel consulting expertise are the key components in why people choose to join our network and we are great at understanding and supporting people on their life journey. That is why there are no targets or KPI’s set for our Advisors, after all they are all running their own businesses.”

We at MTA believe that it is important to lead where necessary and we consider continuous learning an important responsibility in our market and our track record of support given to our Advisors is testament to that.

Since our commencement way back in 2000 our leadership credentials have included:

  • Development of an inhouse mid and back office system (the Virtual Office).
  • Assistance Team set up to support Advisors going on famils and leave
  • Individual websites for Advisors established including choice of skins available
  • Introduction of 24/7 hour emergency ticketing team
  • Set up of 24/7 IT Support
  • Reward & Recognition programme established including a no fee threshold
  • Partner (supplier) appreciation events
  • Zero Flight Risk guarantee introduced
  • Purchase of purpose built training facility at our Head Office
  • MTA Accountants set up
  • Full time inhouse Marketing and graphics design team
  • MTA Companion smart device enabled itinerary builder
  • MTA Global Fares search and booking tool released

And today of course, and three years in the building we are delighted and proud to introduce – MTA Professional Plus program

In 2014 ATAS stated its desire to improve the standard of learning for consultants, at the same time MTA employed its first full time Training Manager – Kirsty Tate  (who is here with us today and who has been instrumental in making the MTA vision a reality).

The Professional Plus program is part of our continuous development offered to our Advisors and includes some modules designed by our Head Office Support staff and key partners such as Virtuoso and CLIA to help further educate and support MTA Advisors in their development as business owners.

MTA is already known for aligning with some of the best travel experts in the industry and to ensure that they continue to grow their expertise and professionalism we at MTA devised a new learning strategy.

Provide learning opportunities to MTA Advisors to maximise their ability to run their own businesses while maintaining their currency of knowledge and travel expertise.

  1. Refresher training – targeting existing Advisors and focussed on ensuring everyone was well versed in MTA’s systems and our partners products
  2. Maximising supplier partner engagement and study tour opportunities – to ensure currency of expertise.
  3. Introduce an accreditation program -provide a platform for MTA Advisors to further demonstrate their professionalism

MTA has traditionally been well positioned to be able to deliver this strategy having always had a team who looked after Advisors bookings while they were away on famils or leave – and of course at no cost. This encourages Advisors to continue their learning (and take breaks from their business)

Today we have a fabulous three day induction program, run regional training days, deliver professional development sessions and have increased study tours four fold. To assist us with all of this training MTA has also invested in a learning platform to manage the delivery process of these initiatives.

When looking at an accreditation program we decided that we wanted to make sure that it was relevant to our Advisors businesses, it was substantial and that it would require time and effort to complete. We were also keen to ensure that it didn’t just become a “product awareness” program and would equip our – already travel experts – with an enhanced well rounded set of skills, including Marketing, Finance, Social Media, Consumer Law and Compliance.

Key Points

  • The program is for MTA Advisors
  • It is voluntary
  • All pathways and levels must be successfully completed to gain MTA accreditation.*
  • Assessment of modules can contain both written answers and practical demonstration of capability.
  • Those successfully completing the programme will be able to carry the title of MTA Certified Travel Professional for use in their marketing and in dealing with our supplier partners.
  • Maintenance modules will need to be completed on an annual basis to maintain the accreditation.
  • Can be worked on online or offline
  • Self paced

And as usual with MTA – all at no cost to our Advisors

*nine stated pathways must be completed while a further two are optional.

We are delighted and proud to be able to deliver this wonderful prog ram to our MTA Advisors.

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