Within six weeks of finishing her Certificate IV in Retail Travel Sales at William Angliss Institute, Anna Small had landed a job at Tempo Holidays, working as a Reservations Sales Consultant, specialising in Latin America.
Her role includes taking phone calls from retail travel agents and assembling itineraries for their clients. Every call is different; where one may include providing a quote for a particular hotel, the next may involve putting together a three-week long itinerary complete with accommodation, sightseeing and transport arrangements. Anna's diverse range of inquiries focus mainly on Latin America, but some calls may be for European and Middle Eastern products. Because of this, the tourism expert must be familiar with everything Tempo Holidays offers in order to provide the best agents for the client, and assist the agent in getting the sale.
Anna had high expectations for her course when she enrolled, but found her study experience exceeded that.
"The quality of the written course materials was excellent, the teachers were inspiring and very in touch with industry, the library resources were comprehensive and the systems we used were identical to what's used on the job," she says.
Anna's highlight of the course was learning how to use the airline reservation systems. "The teachers were excellent (it doesn't get much better than learning Galileo from a former senior Galileo manager who knows the system backwards) and booking flights on a live system made me feel like I was really on my way in the industry," she says. She also enjoyed the assignments that involved planning itineraries for international destinations, which involved using real travel products from different wholesalers. These skills, which Anna uses in her job every day now, taught her about new places and how to sell the benefits of the itineraries.
The certificate gave Anna skills in using airline booking and back office systems. "Even though my company uses its own custom system, I was able to learn this quickly because I had experience already with various systems through the course," she says. When she needs to request air travel quotes, she draws upon the understanding of airfare structures and booking systems she developed during the course.
Anna cites the reputation of her chosen program within the industry as a big draw card, along with the comprehensive information she received from teachers when she went to the Institute Open Day. Furthermore, she says the facilities and environment added to her decision to attend the Institute, which offers a wide range of vocational courses.
She highlights the "brilliant" teachers at William Angliss Institute as particularly helpful during her study, and noted the variety of techniques and hands-on experiences they employed as being instrumental in the course.
"They have extensive and varied backgrounds in the industry, so they know exactly what it's like in the real world. But they're also fabulous at teaching – they know how to translate their experience into the classroom."