During a long career in business travel I worked for some of the largest and most prestigious travel management companies. Over a period of 10 years I received only the most basic technical training. At one point, I had to leave the industry to access formal sales and business management training and experience.
When I returned to the industry in a sales role, I spent another 8 years juggling multi-million pound tenders, C-level presentations, bid management and implementation projects - with no training and very little coaching.
10 years later, one online tendering solution, two travel management consultancies and one training company behind me, I have come full circle.
I am still bothered about the gap in the market for structured learning and development. 'Gaps in the market' are what get me out of bed in the morning. So, 3 years ago I decided it was time to fill this one - and here we are...
I was flying back from a training workshop that I delivered to 30 travel professionals in Dubai in May 2017. Still ringing in my ears were the requests from our students - "when are you coming back?", "can you train our staff?", "can we do distance learning?", "we want to know more about travel management".
I'd heard this again and again in Africa, China, Turkey, USA, Europe... I was thinking; where will we find the trainers and how much will it cost?
Then, I had that 'aha' moment...was e-learning the solution?
The first question we asked ourselves before developing our training solution was:
“what problem are we solving?”
The answer was:
"certified, structured learning that will attract new skills into the industry, but also up-skill to help to improve the existing high staff turnover and retentions rates."
We also decided that this needed to be scalable and easily accessible as the need was not only in Europe and the U.S. but also in the developing markets – India, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. It also needed to be affordable and user-friendly and able to evolve with advancements in digital technology.
By developing our courses on an e-learning platform we would be able to deliver all these attributes, bringing long-term value to our learners.
The icing on the cake (and hopefully more on the mountains in Antarctica) is the fact that e-learning is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than other learning methods – fact: the classroom creates a Co2 equivalent of over 200 pounds compared to only 10 pounds for an online student.