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How to Become a Travel Agent in Ontario, Canada

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Travel agents act as a portal between clients and their vacations, business trips, family getaways, and cruises. They are responsible for many different tasks from finding the cheapest travel rates, to re-routing interrupted trips, and providing location-specific information to their clients. Becoming a travel agent in Ontario, Canada requires that you obtain post-secondary education from an accredited institute and earn your Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) certificate.

Research the travel industry in Ontario. Ontario has strict rules and regulations in place to prevent travel agents form operating without the appropriate licenses and education. The province also carries hefty penalties for travel agents operating without the required certification. You must understand the rules and regulations as well as the requirements to become a travel agent before applying to a post-secondary institution.

Enroll in a travel agent or hospitality program at a college or career college. Most colleges and career colleges in Ontario offer programs in hospitality and travel and tourism. To become a travel agent you must enroll in one of these courses to learn more about the industry and common practices and procedures.

Register as a travel counsellor with Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). Once you have received your diploma or degree in hospitality or travel and tourism, you must apply for your TICO membership. This requires that you pay an application fee and write a TICO administered exam at one of the TICO proctored schools in Ontario. A list of the proctored schools can be found on the TICO website.

Search and apply for a position as a travel agent in a retail travel business or start you own business. Most new travel agents in Ontario first work for a retail travel agency. Apply for a position by visiting the website of the travel agency you wish to work for and complete an application and submit your resume. If you chose to start your own business, you must register it with TICO, pay the registration fees, and give a membership deposit. You must also join the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) by applying on the ACTA website and paying an application fee.

Earn your Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) designation. To earn this top designation for travel agents in Ontario, you must complete a knowledge exam, obtain 1,000 hours of occupational experience, complete a performance checklist, and receive a passing grade on a performance evaluation. Once accepted as a Certified Travel Counsellor, you will be required to pay a membership fee before receiving full member status.


Before sending your resume and application, ensure the organization is certified by TICO.


Scott Ryan has been writing since 2006. He specializes in personal development, travel and language study. His work has appeared on eHow and on leadership and development websites. Ryan holds an associate degree in business administration with a major in marketing from Durham College.

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