By Laura Del Rosso

A range of courses designed for travel agents who sell international travel is now available at a discount through Hot Travel Jobs, a New Jersey-based personnel company for the travel agency industry, which has partnered with IATA.

The courses include topics that are useful for leisure agents, such as geography and international rail travel planning. Other courses cover GDS training for Galileo, Amadeus and Sabre, skills that are useful for travel agents, particularly those who book air and offer business travel services to corporate clients, said Doug Walsh, Hot Travel Jobs’ director of sales and marketing.

“This is an expansion of what we’ve done in the past, which is to offer more and more resources for agents who come to our site,” he said. “We developed a host agency database and a travel school database. We offer the Travel Institute’s courses. And now we’re putting up the IATA courses. We want to be a well-rounded resource.”

IATA, an airline trade association headquartered in Montreal with executive offices in Geneva, represents 240 of the world’s airlines. The IATA courses at the Hot Travel Jobs website are discounted by 5%.

Walsh said the GDS training can be especially useful for travel agents who left the industry during the recent recession but are interested in returning now that work is plentiful and they need to update their GDS skills.

He said that “the job market is very hot” for travel agents, and travel companies are looking for skilled agents.

“The majority of people in this industry are retiring and getting new blood in it is tough,” he said.

Hot Travel Jobs also offers the Travel Institute’s courses at a discount through its website.

All courses are completed online at an agent’s own pace, typically with an imposed deadline.

“The IATA courses are different from what the Travel Institute offers,” said Walsh. “IATA covers things such as dealing with international airline ticketing, billing and settlement plans. They [IATA and the Travel Institute courses] complement each other.”

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