Online Training Courses on Tourism Destinations: The Travel Agents' Perception
By Sara Fedele Marketing Communications Manager , USI Università Della Svizzera Italiana | August 05, 2012
Co-authored by Nadzeya Kalbaska and Lorenzo Cantoni, USI Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland
In the last two decades, eLearning has been widely adopted by the tourism and hospitality industry as a means of increasing skills and knowledge guidance. According to the Travel Association (ABTA), it has been the fastest growing travel trade marketing medium in recent years.
The constant change and uncertainty across all sectors of the tourism business environment creates a situation that requires all employees to learn constantly. It is known that the success of an enterprise depends largely on human resources, on the way employees are recruited, managed, trained and educated, as well as supported through a process of continuous learning and career development. Over the last 10 years, continuous learning programs and facilities have been booming: companies seek to constantly increase the skills of their employees and employees hope that after achieving specific expertise, the company will benefit of having a well-trained and motivated management structure.
However, courses often require presence and constancy and managers are not always able to leave their desks for weeks or months.
Accordingly, over the last decade, eLearning, – which can be defined as "the use of new multimedia technologies and the Internet to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to resources and services as well as remote exchanges and collaboration" (CEC, 2001) – has been widely adopted in the field of executive training. Also in the tourism and hospitality industry (alongside other methods of training delivery) it has been adopted as a means of increasing skills and providing knowledge, although levels of adoption differ significantly according to latest studies.
Nowadays, Destination Management Organizations are assisted by ICTs in spreading marketing messages to potential clients, in coordinating the suppliers involved in the production and delivery of the tourist product and in supporting travel professionals, such as travel agents and tour operators, by providing more extensive and updated information and training online.