Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Travel Agents

ASTA Free Guide to Becoming a Travel Advisor Sees Thousands of Downloads

7 months ago

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) has seen over 12,000 downloads of its Travel Advisor Career Overview guide to becoming a travel agent since it made the resource free.

Previously, ASTA’s materials came with a fee, with only about 50 downloads in the five years before 2023.

ASTA’s next step in career training for aspiring travel agents has also been modified to include an ASTA membership with the “Future Travel Professional” level, which forms part of the Roadmap to Becoming a Travel Advisor course starting at $199. An independent advisor membership begins at $228.

The guide was made freely available through a partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and forms part of ASTA’s overall initiative to bring new travel advisors to the industry, said Zane Kerby, CEO and president of ASTA.

“Right now, the travel industry desperately needs more talent,” said Kerby. “If someone is interested in becoming a travel advisor, they first have to understand the landscape of our industry and the variety of pathways available to them.”

“Our members are telling us they need help,” Kerby further stated as he explained that the overhaul of ASTA’s Travel Career Center extends beyond recruitment with the intent to “equip future professionals with comprehensive tools for success.”

ASTA represents 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through travel agency distribution channels.

Hotels

IDEAS: IHG Hotels & Resorts Launches Initiative to Support Under-Represented Groups in Hospitality Industry

8 months ago

IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) have launched a new program – known as IHG LIFT – which has been designed to create more hotel development support for historically under-represented groups within the hospitality industry.

Credit: IHG Hotels & Resorts

The program will include support, access to capital and guidance along the hotel lifecycle, and is open to owners who qualify in the U.S. and Canada. 

According to a release from IHG, the new program will ‘unlock common barriers to hotel ownership among these groups and empower diverse owner-entrepreneurs for success.’

As part of the program, IHG has partnered with two leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College – and will commit more than $30 million to the initiative over the next five years.

“As our industry grows, we need to keep our focus on enabling more success for our diverse ownership base. Barriers such as a lack of access to capital and the right networks put such owners at a disadvantage. The IHG LIFT program is specifically designed to help ease the path to ownership and ultimately support owners. Diversifying ownership is not only better for IHG, it also lifts up our entire industry,” said Julienne Smith, chief development officer, Americas at IHG Hotels & Resorts.

IHG LIFT forms part of IHG’s forms part of its broader Journey to Tomorrow 2030 responsible business plan.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Aer Lingus’ Plan to Draft More Female Pilots

9 months ago

Aer Lingus has announced the reopening of its pilot recruitment program for the first time since 2019, with the recruitment drive set to remain open for the next five years.

The first round of the pilot training program, which is fully sponsored by the airline, will recruit 18 candidates and is open for applications from now until 16th August 2023. For this latest recruitment round, Aer Lingus has stated that it is looking to enhance and embrace diversity in its selection process, by ‘actively striving to increase the number of female applicants to the program’. In the last recruitment round, only 7% of applicants were female, a statistic it is determined to significantly improve upon.

Credit: Aer Lingus

Successful candidates will undergo a 24-month pilot training program beginning in early 2024, which will combine theory and practical studies, and will be conducted in collaboration with the Spanish flight training school FTE Jerez.

“The Aer Lingus Future Pilot Programme opens a world of opportunity for the next generation of pilots who will join our airline. We have a rich history at Aer Lingus of training pilots and our new Future Pilot Programme continues in that wonderful tradition, for which we are well known and respected. We encourage everyone interested to consider our fully funded future pilot programme and we particularly encourage females to apply as we continue our efforts to close the gender gap in aviation,” said Lynne Embleton, chief executive at Aer Lingus. 

You can find out more information on the program here.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.