Travel wholesalers and wholesale tour operators do the same thing: they combine several travel components (for example, airfare and hotels) into a travel package that they can then resell at a lower price than if travelers booked their own accommodations and plane tickets. If your business involves a lot of travel, or if your company wants to branch into the travel industry, then it makes sense that you find out about tour operators and travel wholesalers education and training.
By operating your own travel wholesaler's business, either for your company's business travel or as part of your business offerings, you'll need to understand what you need to do to get established as a travel wholesaler. You (or your company's designee) should find out more about the training necessary to operate as travel wholesalers. There are three basic types of training:
1. Virtual (correspondence) courses for a wholesaler tour operator,
2. Courses and degree programs located on-site at colleges and universities, and
3. Ongoing tour operator and travel wholesaler education and training
Investigate correspondence courses and virtual seminars that offer travel wholesaler trainingVirtual seminars and correspondence courses that offer tour operators and travel wholesalers education and training can help new vacation wholesalers. Learn about some of the programs available and decide which programs offer your business the best wholesale tour operator's training.
Penn Foster Career School also offers a "Travel and Tourism Specialist" correspondence program.
Consider taking one or two university courses designed for tour wholesalersWhile you may not need a four-year college degree to hang out your shingle as a wholesale tour operator, taking a few courses about the travel industry can only help you and your business.
Temple University offers tourism training in the form of courses for non-degree seeking students. Florida International University offers a Travel and Tourism Management certificate. If these locations don't fit your company's geography, then study their course offerings and check out the local colleges in your area for comparable programs and classes.
Look to tour operator's associations for continuing educationWhile no one agency regulates or oversees vacation wholesalers, consider joining a tour operator association. Travel tour operators have many organizations to choose from depending on the type of travel on which they focus. For example, luxury travel wholesalers might join a luxury-specific group while adventure travel wholesalers may look for a different organization.
Two organizations exist that offer continuing education and training: the National Tour Association and the United States Tour Operators Association. Membership in these organizations isn't automatic, but if accepted then tour operators and wholesalers can take advantage of ongoing education and annual training.
- Talk to the gamut of tour operators, from international tour operators to adventure tour operators, and ask them where they got their initial training as well as what they do for ongoing training.