NEW YORK -- Enrollment in the British Tourist Authority's
specialist program for U.S. travel agents has skyrocketed since it
became available on the Internet late last month.
According to Clare Packer, marketing executive for the travel
trade at the BTA in New York, some 60 new agent candidates for
BritAgent certification signed up online at the www.travelbritain.org/trade site since its June 20
debut -- a significant jump over previous enrollment rates.
"We've also had existing enrollees who've been with us for a
longer time decide to take the [certification] test on line,"
There currently are 600 BritAgent enrollees nationwide, of whom
about half have been tested and certified.
While any agent who pays the $75 fee to join the program
receives limited benefits, such as a year's subscription to "In
Britain" magazine, graduates who've passed the certification test
gain access to consumer leads, 10 continuing education credits from
the Institute of Certified Travel Agents, permission to use the
BritAgent logo on promotional materials, and a supply of
Previously, candidates who opted to take the test would have to
contact Wellesley, Mass.-based ICTA for the materials, and then
return them by mail for grading.
"We did research and found agents felt online testing would be
more convenient," said Packer, adding that the move has reduced
costs, as well, allowing the BTA to slash its fee to $75, down from
Agent reaction to the online move is overwhelmingly positive,
she noted. "They've commented that they love a paperless program,
the modules read well, and that our turnaround time is
For more information, contact Packer at (212) 850-0327.