Advantage Travel Partnership has extended its partnership with Silver Travel Advisor to allow members to become accredited specialists in the mature travel sector.

The travel agency consortium has worked with the over-50s travel website to develop a dedicated online training course and virtual face-to-face training exclusively for its members to understand the market and its specific needs.

Silver Travel Advisor had hosted some face to face training sessions pre-Covid but has now developed online training for Advantage agents.

Advantage, which recently announced a ‘comeback campaign’ to help members give holidaymakers accurate advice following the easing of travel restrictions, said the decision to strengthen ties with Silver Travel Advisor came as it recognised travellers aged over 50 would need support and advice more than ever from their agents because of the current environment.

By completing the course or completing training via one of three virtual training sessions, agents can become an ‘accredited agent’. The training will cover the market segments and how best to attract and retain mature clients.

The online training is split into five modules covering the over-50s market, including the nine different market segments and how to market to attract each segment. The online courses go live on July 17.

Virtual training will be hosted by Jennie Carr and Jane Silk from Silver Travel Advisor and will take around two hours to complete. The first is on July 29 and the second on July 30, with extra ones scheduled for September and October.

Once accredited, agents will be featured on the Silver Travel Advisor website, which has 118,000 registered users. Agents will also receive a certificate to be displayed in store, a door sticker and e-business cards.

The consortium also plans to produce marketing materials for its agents to use in their own direct or consumer marketing, including print and digital assets, produced in collaboration with Silver Travel Advisor.

Advantage leisure director Kelly Cookes said: “We’re really excited to have extended our partnership with the team at Silver Travel Advisor. Not only will this mean our members can develop their skillset when it comes to selling to the over 50s market, it’s also a great opportunity to grow their existing customer base through Silver Travel Advisor’s highly engaged audiences on its website, newsletters, social media and the bi-annual Silver Travel Advisor magazine.”

Silver Travel Advisor’s managing director Debbie Marshall said even confident travellers in the over-50s market were likely to feel more nervous about travelling in the current climate.

She said: “We are delighted to continue to have Advantage on board as our exclusive travel agency partner. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, even the savviest of the 50-plus market may be more apprehensive when it comes to travel and now more than ever, the advice and reassurance a travel agent can bring is invaluable.

“We’ve created this bespoke training to ensure Advantage members have the most up-to-date information when it comes to selling to this market and we’re looking forward to working closely with the team and their members.”

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Comment: Older people will be keen to travel again if concerns are met