Travel Agents Hit the Books with Former Elementary Educator Leading Training Efforts

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Director of Training Charity Santiago is a former elementary educator who has a Master of Science in Education – Instructional Design & Technology. Under her tutelage, a team of trainers creates and implements interactive travel agent training that covers everything needed to run a home-based travel agency franchise – from basic hard and soft business skills to guidance on industry updates and step-by-step instructions on how to make the most of the resources provided by headquarters. For Charity, most days are a blend of agent support and internal support.

She starts each day by answering questions from franchise owners – whether it is assisting them in locating a much-needed resource or providing guidance for a one-off situation. She then moves into her daily meetings where she collaborates with internal teams to execute new ideas or develop a training and communication strategy for a new program or technology enhancement. Charity and her team also host daily webinars – these can be everything from intimate conversations with suppliers to delivering a continuing education webinar that helps agents dig a little deeper into sales, marketing or technology topics.

No stranger to creating lesson plans and thinking on her feet, Charity had to come up with an entirely new curriculum when COVID-19 began. Virtual Engagement has always been a part of Dream Vacations’ learning strategy which allowed the team to quickly pivot its training methods by giving that strategy a deeper embrace. As a result, the Dream Vacations Franchise Training has been revamped to offer a 100% virtual training option that still delivers upon the quality one would expect from a live training class. For existing franchisees, the team also is hosting more live-virtual webinars with supplier partners and internal leaders than ever before.

When she can travel again, Charity plans on renting a beach house.