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If you know where popular tourist spots are located and how to find bargains, then you have a good chance at being a successful travel agent in British Columbia. No formal education or training is required to be a travel agent in British Columbia, but if you aspire to be successful, earn special credentials and learn how to make your clients' travel plans a positive experience.
Take a Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors (CITC) training course. Such courses are frequently offered in British Columbia, including day and distance courses at Canadian Tourism College, CDI College and Westminster College. A day course lasts about 23 weeks, and includes instruction in the two main computer systems used in the travel industry, as well as customer service and marketing courses.
Enroll for Travel Counsellor Certification through CITC. The certification involves a written examination that you can take before you are hired. When you get a job, you will undergo a performance evaluation that will further qualify you as a Certified Travel Counsellor. Since working in British Columbia, especially in the Vancouver area can be competitive, obtaining this certification gives you an added edge to get a job and find clients. Going through the training will test your skills and help you determine your strengths and weaknesses, so you know what type of travel bookings -- such as cruises, local travel or adventure travel -- which could be your expertise.
Apply for a travel insurance license through the Insurance Council of British Columbia. You will need this license if you plan to run your own travel agency. If you plan to work for someone else, you don't need your own travel insurance license. (see reference 2) This license allows a travel agency to issue travel insurance to clients.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.