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Travel Agents

 May 03, 2010
Colombia Specialist Travel Agent Program Unveiled

 On Monday, June 14, The Colombian Tourism Board and Travel Agent University will unveil the country's first Colombia Specialist Travel Agent Program. This free online curriculum will provide U.S. travel agents with the comprehensive knowledge necessary to sell Colombia travel to leisure and corporate clients while rewarding them with "miles." "Miles" are redeemable for complimentary airfare and hotel stays in Colombia.

In April 2010, USA Today writer Jayne Clark noted, "What a difference a decade makes." She continued, "An increase in flight arrivals from the USA makes getting (to Colombia) relatively inexpensive. A boom in international hotel chains (as well as budget lodgings) is beefing up a once-anemic tourism infrastructure. And an exuberant cultural, nightlife and dining scene is luring foreign visitors..."

Colombia Specialist Program courses will introduce agents to Colombia's main tourism regions, highlighting the cultural, historic, ecotourism, adventure and culinary experiences and tours available. Varying levels of hotel product will also be profiled. Agents catering to the corporate market will find a chapter on planning meetings and conference or brokering incentive programs in the destination. General information on air service, ground transportation, weather, and VISA requirements will also be reviewed. Whether it is a trek through the Coffee Triangle or a corporate meeting in Bogotá, agents who complete the course will be fully prepared to sell Colombia.

Graduates of the Program receive Colombia Specialist Certification and are automatically registered in the Colombia Rewards Program. Only available to graduates, the rewards program offers the opportunity to accumulate "miles," similar to a frequent flier program. These "miles" can be redeemed for gift cards at select online stores or cashed-in for a trip to Colombia. "Miles" will accrue based on nights booked, corporate events booked and number of agent referrals. Agents booking their first Colombia trip will receive double miles.

Additional resources and benefits to the Colombia Specialist Program include: priority invitations to FAM trips and seminars hosted by the Colombian Tourism Board and supporting suppliers; exclusive use of the Colombia Travel Partner logo; listing as a Colombia Specialist travel agent on The Official Colombia Tourism and Travel Agent University websites; and free promotional materials and updates on Colombia's regions, products and offers.