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When you want to plan your dream vacation to the Caribbean, one of the easiest ways to do so is by visiting your local travel agency. Arizona has travel agents available to aid in those plans. In the state of Arizona, qualifications for travel agents are the same as the rest of the United States. It comes down to schooling, training and certification.
To become a travel agent in Arizona you must attend a college, vocational school or university for a degree in tourism and hospitality (or related field such as travel and tourism management). Schools that offer a travel agent program in Arizona include The University of Phoenix, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale and Ashworth College. Arizona State University also offers a bachelor's program for tourism and hospitality. This degree is more extensive and takes four years to complete. Those who study this field may also take foreign language and history classes to further understand other cultures. Classes in this field will vary from how to fill out travel agent forms, computer classes explaining how to use specific programs for booking flights and using search engines, geography and business marketing.
Upon completion of a travel agent degree, one must send in the paperwork for official certification. This is done through the school where you graduated. It is also important to register with the American Society of Travel Agents-Arizona Branch. This organization provides a number of networking events for Arizona travel agents and discounts that can be obtained nowhere else. Business travel consultants can also join a similar organization, the Arizona Business Travel Association. This organization is a local branch of the National Business Travel Association. Both organizations require a yearly fee to use their resources.
Arizona travel agents should apply for jobs within a travel agency as soon as possible. The best way is to apply for positions such as a receptionist or travel agent assistant. This will help a person gain experience, learn about different aspects of being a travel agent and even find out about the possibility of moving up in a company. Many large travel agencies provide extensive training to new employees or those in school to be a travel agent.
Sara Hickman owns a preschool science-based entertainment business in the Greater Cincinnati area. She has a bachelor's degree in communication and psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.