Begin a Journey to a Successful Career in Travel and Tourism

Article by: Louise Jett,
GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s Corporate and Community Learning division has some upcoming courses designed to help professionals embark on a journey to a successful career in travel and tourism.

“The outlook for ‘travel agents’ is always good, especially now since the industry has evolved tremendously in the last decade,” said Nancy Roop, CCL travel and tourism instructor. “Home-based travel agents comprise the fastest growing segment of this industry. Air travel numbers are up significantly from last year. People will always travel for business, and with baby boomers retiring, that segment of the population will add to leisure travel numbers.” 

Home-based travel agents recognize the potential for a lucrative career that is also a lifestyle, one in which they can travel the world and have incredible experiences all while serving their clients. Instead of coming from the traditional travel agency world, many agents come from other professions and backgrounds. For some, it is a second career, and for others being a home-based travel agent is an increasingly attractive first career option.

The term “home-based agent” may even be eclipsed in the near future in favor of travel specialist, mobile travel professional or virtual travel agent. No longer are these individuals only working from home, they work wherever they are located at any given point in time thanks to global connectivity. Agents enjoy setting their own hours and financial goals while seeing the world on the job. 

“We’ve been offering this online training program for four years, and we decided it would be best to redesign the program to fit the current needs of the industry, travel clients and people wanting to work as home-based travel agents,” said CCL Assistant Director Katie Haas. 

Lewis and Clark now offers an affordable and flexible online program to prepare professionals for a career as a home-based travel agent.  This includes online courses that are accessible 24/7, with great links to travel industry resource websites and destination videos. Students, who successfully complete the Professional Certificate Series, and the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) exam, will earn a Home-Based Travel Agent Professional Certificate from L&C. Courses are approximately 12-16 weeks in length. Computer access is required. A high-speed internet connection and Microsoft Word are highly recommended.

For the past 35 years, CCL Instructor Roop has worked in this dynamic industry as a Certified Travel Consultant and Destination Specialist, travel and tourism educator, curriculum consultant, group tour escort and for an international airline. Her work experience also includes reviewing travel industry textbooks for publication and administering professional examinations. She has traveled to 93 countries on five continents.

For more information about the Home-Based Travel Agent Professional Certificate Online Program, please call Community and Corporate Learning at (618) 468-5777 or email Roop at

Home-Based Travel Agent Professional Certificate Online Program specifics:

  • Business of Travel and Tourism – Students can begin their journey to a successful career in travel and tourism with a systematic, real-world focused and comprehensive study of this exciting profession. This course will introduce the basic travel concepts, key sectors of the travel industry, sales strategies, an overview of world destinations, technology, and business communications, along with the basic business practices to start and operate a home-based travel agency. Course fee does not include required textbook and student workbook. The 16-week course will be held from Jan. 27–May 18 and costs $349.

  • Geography for the Travel Professional – Geography literacy is essential for those planning a career in the travel, tourism or hospitality industry. Students will study the location, history, language, currency, transportation, accommodations and attractions of the world’s most visited destinations, and discover lesser-known locations, while learning how to match clients to destinations, arrange travel itineraries and respond to common requests. Course fee does not include required textbook and student workbook. This course is approved for 48 CPDU’s for educators. The 16-week course will be held from Jan. 27–May 18 and costs $349.

  • A Guide to the Cruise Industry – Welcome aboard for this exciting introduction to the world of cruising. Students will learn about the many unique cruise regions around the world, ports of call, shore excursions and major attractions at cruise destinations on seven continents. How to read a deck plan, promote, price, and book a cruise vacation for individuals and groups are covered in this course. Daily shipboard activities will be discussed, along with dining options, types of staterooms, cruise etiquette, tipping, packing, and pre- and post-cruise packages. Course fee does not include required textbook. The 12-week course will be held from Feb. 27–May 18 and costs $249.