A forward-looking annual conference for the Ensemble Travel Group in Seattle wrapped up last weekend with news that Ensemble plans to offer a support scholarship for educational certification to every shareholder member.
For the next year, Ensemble will underwrite 50% of the certification costs for the training, testing and certification by The Travel Institute for each shareholder – and a 15% discount for all other members.
Ensemble CEO David Harris made the announcement during the annual Ensemble International Conference, which was held at the new Hyatt Regency Seattle last week, reports PressToday western editor Ted Davis. Ensemble is the first travel retailer consortia to offer such a certification scholarship.
Using supervised, closed-book testing to ensure worthy credentials, The Travel Institute has certified more than 25,000 Certified Travel Associate (CTA), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC), and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE) graduates. It also administers the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) exam to confirm that new participants in the industry can demonstrate knowledge of travel industry basics.
“The credentials they receive assures travellers that their Ensemble member advisor has met the highest education standards in the travel industry,” says The Travel Institute. “It provides a peace of mind that only comes with booking through a proven travel professional.”
This was not the only “first” for Ensemble in the consortia universe. The group also announced a partnership with Cool Effect, a California-based non-profit focused on fighting the climate crisis through the use of carbon offsets. The partnership kicked off with Ensemble offsetting the carbon footprint of the conference with Cool Effect. The travel offset tool is being incorporated on Ensemble’s platform for members to easily offset the carbon footprint of air travel by clients.
About 900 conference attendees, including Ensemble member travel advisors and product suppliers, came to the annual conference and learned from the overall conference theme of “travel with purpose.” Ensemble group retailers came from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States for the four-day event.
They assembled for special social gatherings like an opening welcome reception, the Circle of Excellence gala awards dinner and a final night closing event at Seattle’s MoPop Cultural Museum – plus a well-attended trade show showcasing Ensemble’s partner suppliers.
Pictured, reps from G Adventures attended the annual Ensemble International Conference and met with travel advisors during an onsite trade show at the Hyatt Regency Seattle. G Adventure reps Kara Lucchesi of Seattle (l) and Karly Cook of Vancouver (third from left) met with Debbie Hegland (second from left) and Lani Goldthorpe, both from the Sea The World Cruises in Florida. G Adventures was the winner of the Caring for the Community Award at the Circle of Excellence gala.