Open Jaw

CITC: The Teachers

Founded In 1968 To Elevate The Status Of Travel Sellers

  What was the original purpose for the formation of this association?

On September 19, 1968 the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors was born. The purpose was to “elevate the status and increase the prestige of persons engaged in the travel industry.”

This would be accomplished by establishing educational and professional standards, administering a formal training program designed to raise the level of competence and recognizing the designation of Certified Travel Counsellor CTC by awarding it to individuals who met the standards.

Original founders included Jim Calladine, Olwen Chappell, Elizabeth Duthie and James Byrne. Initially, CITC operated provincially and in 2001 became a single non-profit corporation named CITC Canada.

CITC Canada became one voice for the industry with standardized bilingual membership services, national education programs, cross country member events, a consumer and industry awareness program. In 2001 a CITC membership cost $85 while today the cost for certified membership is $99.

  Does that purpose still have a role, 44 years later?

Absolutely! With consumers becoming more travel savvy, it is more important than ever for travel professionals to maintain a high standard of knowledge.

Many education and training programs across Canada are recommended by CITC, a status that allows the provider to offer approved credits, a key component of the certification process.

What many industry members may not realize is that the professional designations CTC (Certified Travel Counsellor) and CTM (Certified Travel Manager) are government-endorsed. CITC works closely with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council based in Ottawa to ensure that the National Occupational Standards necessary to be considered a competent travel agent are enforced. The standards are set by the travel industry and are the basis for emerit  certification programs. The process for becoming certified is reviewed on an annual basis and updated accordingly.

  How has your organization changed over the last 10 years to meet the changing demands of travel agents?

The process for certification has changed to be more relevant to today’s industry. The criteria for workplace hours have increased to 1800 in order to meet the demand for experienced professionals. Training sessions, FAM trips, webinars and specialist programs can all contribute to occupational experience requirements.

CITC training initiatives now include webinars, both live and on demand. The content reflects the changing needs of travel professionals. For example, Steve Crowhurst now offers a free webinar to members on social media. With the growth in niche travel, CITC in conjunction with ACTA offers a live webinar series on luxury travel.

On January 1, 2013, the CITC in conjunction with The Travel Institute in the USA will introduce Communiversity. An online learning program offering hundreds of courses on key topics such as social media, sales, marketing, finance and technology.

With its ‘Quality Provider of Education’ program, CITC facilitates specialist programs offered through tourist boards, tour operators, and hoteliers. This program is currently being updated and will be re-launched in the new year.

  Travel agents want to know: what have you done for them lately?

As mentioned above, CITC has been working very closely with our sister company in the USA – the Travel Institute -- to implement specialist training programs and Communiversity courses. 

CITC is currently developing a FAM schedule to exciting destinations for 2013. This past year, we hosted trips to Tunisa, Iceland and Jordan. 

Webinar series continue at no cost to our members and we continue to seek out partners that can offer members extra value.

CITC also supports people interested in joining the travel industry through frequent speaking engagements at schools and colleges. Recently, we held a very successful Students in Travel Conference in Toronto with almost 400 students attending.  We are currently planning a student conference in Western Canada and some new, relevant conferences, with details coming soon. 


marg byer
December 11, 2012 at 15:57

I am now retired but will keep my membership with CITC-what bfits will I have as a ritree and will be still able to go on FAM trips.


Enter Code: