ITTN’s Neil Steedman asked two travel agents – Mary Downes, Product Manager, Cassidy Travel; and Jackie Sheehan, Senior Travel Consultant, Tropical Sky Ireland – about their experiences of completing the Dubai Expert online training programme.
When did you start, how long did it take, and when did you finish?
Jackie: “I actually only got to complete the programme in September, having made several attempts over the past year or so! I knuckled down and completed in the same day.”
Mary: “I started on 15th August and the programme took me approximately four hours to complete.”
Why did you decide to become a Dubai Expert?
Jackie: “I have been selling Dubai for quite a while, so I had wanted to do the programme to update my knowledge and get to know Dubai better. I also had a trip to Dubai planned.”
Mary: “I undertook the programme having been invited to participate in a familiarisation trip to Dubai.”
Was the programme as expected – or were there surprises?
Jackie: “There were no surprises really – and the programme was outstanding.”
Mary: “The surprise was that it took longer to complete than I thought it would.”
How easy or difficult was it?
Jackie: “It was tough enough, but the answers were always there – once you were paying attention!”
Mary: “Neither difficult nor easy, I just found that it took a while to complete.”
As a Dubai Expert are you more ‘able and willing’ to offer/sell Dubai to clients?
Jackie: “I am able, willing and very excited to offer/sell Dubai to my clients.”
Mary: “Yes, although I was already familiar with Dubai. At Cassidy Travel two of my responsibilities lie with the marketing of a destination and also destination awareness. They both involve collating information and cascading to the public and our sales staff.”
Do you now suggest a Dubai Stopover more often to connecting passengers?
Mary: “Cassidy Travel offers Dubai as a stopover destination for honeymooners and long-haul clients.”
Could the Dubai Expert programme leave something out – or include something that it doesn’t?
Jackie: “I think the whole programme is fairly comprehensive, so it covers everything.”
Mary: “The programme is very detailed!”