Agents will have to complete seven modules and 250 credits centered on luxury and experiential travel in order to earn the Travel Leaders Certified Luxury Specialist designation.

Plymouth, MN (May 7, 2014) – Today, Travel Leaders (www.travelleaders.com) – America’s leading travel agency franchise brand – announced details of its newly launched Certified Luxury Specialist program. As an important cornerstone of Travel Leaders’ Luxury Travel Center of Excellence, this rigorous and highly-specialized program is unparalleled in the industry and focuses on broadening each participant’s knowledge on luxury travel through extensive study of luxury suppliers and in-person luxury travel experiences, case studies, development of a luxury travel marketing plan, and outside reading assignments. Details about the Certified Luxury Specialist designation were unveiled at Travel Leaders’ recent Regional Meetings held over the past two weeks.

“Travel Leaders has an unmatched track record in creating award-winning, specialist training programs – such as our Certified Leisure Travel Specialist designation – and we have no doubt our Certified Luxury Specialist program will be held up as the crème de la crème of luxury travel training and certification in the industry,” stated Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “While most of our agents have significant luxury travel clientele already in their individual portfolios, our goal through this certification program was to provide them with ongoing education that will challenge them and, ultimately, enable them to better serve their current luxury clients and significantly increase their base of luxury clientele even further.”

In order to earn the new Travel Leaders Certified Luxury Specialist designation, Travel Leaders agents must complete a minimum of 250 credits in seven distinct modules including:

  • Understanding the Luxury and Experiential Customer – Luxury agents must complete The Travel Institute’s “Luxury Travel: Now” niche market specialist program, along with a “book report” based on outside reading about affluent consumers.
  • Destination Knowledge – Luxury agents must complete in-depth destination certification, from a select group of pre-approved destinations that meet Travel Leaders’ luxury travel standards, through The Travel Institute, ASTA’s International Destination Expo and/or a specific country’s tourism board.
  • Luxury Travel Experiences – Luxury agents must document and report on their personal luxury travel experiences, such as luxury cruises, luxury hotel/resort stays, FAMs or personal trips with luxury tour suppliers, attendance at ILTM in Mexico or France, attendance at the Travel Leaders International Summit, and/or participate in a Travel Leaders sponsored luxury FAM trip.
  • Travel Leaders’ Luxury Programs – Luxury agents must complete training on proprietary programs including: In-Country Partners, Distinctive Voyages, Worldwide Hotel Program, Select Hotel Program and a webinar on Travel Leaders’ Luxury Marketing campaigns. Participants must also complete their agent profile to better illustrate and showcase their luxury travel experience.
  • Luxury and Experiential Suppliers – Luxury agents must complete specific training provided by select suppliers; participants may choose from a host of luxury supplier training programs for airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels and resorts, rail lines, and tour suppliers.
  • Cast Studies of Luxury and Experiential Customers – Luxury agents must complete three detailed case studies related to luxury and experiential travelers.
  • Luxury Marketing Plan – Luxury agents must develop a targeted luxury and experiential client database and develop a comprehensive marketing plan.

“This specially tailored certification program will help our Travel Leaders travel agents to excel in luxury travel sales and develop the necessary skillsets required to provide luxury travel clientele with highly-customized and unique experiences.  In addition, it will provide concrete ideas to help our agents market themselves and grow their luxury clientele database,” added Travel Leaders Vice President Perry Lungmus, who serves as the chief architect of the Luxury Center of Excellence. “We purposefully created this luxury travel certification program to be challenging and demanding.  Affluent and luxury travelers have special needs and desires, and we want to make certain anyone who earns our Travel Leaders Certified Luxury Specialist designation is more than prepared to excel.”

“Travel Better” with Travel Leaders. To learn more about how you can join Travel Leaders to participate in programs like its Certified Luxury Specialist initiative, please call 800-234-824, extension 100. To find the Travel Leaders location nearest you, visit Travelleaders.com or call 800-335-TRIP (8747).

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Travel Leaders is transforming travel with a name that boldly embodies our commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. As one of America’s top ten-ranked travel companies, Travel Leaders has assisted millions of travelers through our strong roots – the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group joined together in 2008 to form one of the industry’s fastest-growing and robust networks of travel agents. Travel Leaders Franchise Group can trace its beginnings to 1984 as the franchise system “Ask Mr. Foster Travel,” which itself was North America’s first travel agency chain established in 1888.