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Industry Briefs
ASTA Announces Paris Specialist Course


An Afro-centric Perspective


ASTA is proud to announce its newest education course, Paris - An Afro-centric Perspective, which will teach agents African-American history in Paris. The African-American niche travel market is a $40 billion dollar industry and this course will allow agents to sell Paris as a Black heritage destination to new clients. “Paris is a major tourist destination, so now is the time to learn about the thriving niche market related to this cosmopolitan city. This is the most extensive course on the market, covering the unique characteristics of the African-American traveler and what Paris has to offer to this traveler,” said course-author, Monique Wells. “Additionally, agents taking this course will have something unique and exciting to offer to mainstream travelers who already know and love Paris, and are seeking new avenues of exploration to enrich their cultural appreciation of the city.”

“I believe the traveling public will look to us as travel agents for advice and counseling when making their travel arrangements. Our increased ability in marketing our travel expertise to the public is a valuable tool, and for impressing upon the public the travel agent’s professionalism,” said Chris Russo, ASTA president and chair. Travel agents who take this course will acquire a basic knowledge of African-American history in Paris and will be able to respond to client questions about French attitudes toward African-American travelers. Upon completing this specialization, agents will be able to communicate various aspects of African/Diaspora culture in Paris and plan Afro-centric itineraries.

The course itself includes an engaging course manual allowing agents to develop an in-depth understanding of African-American history in Paris and related sites of interest. Sample itineraries are also included and are a great starting point for agents to create a well-rounded series of activities for their clients.  Wells is an 18-year resident of Paris, France. She and her partner Tom Reeves founded the travel planning service Discover Paris! – Personalized Itineraries for Independent Travelers in 1999. Wells is the creator of Discover Paris’ Entrée to Black Paris™ service, which includes self-guided walking tours; private, guided walks; and presentations on African/Diaspora Paris. She is the co-author of the walking tours presented in Paris Reflections: Walks through African-American Paris and has written numerous articles on African-American history, culture, and contemporary life in Paris.

The course price will be $39 for the PDF for ASTA members and $49 for non-members. To learn more about this and other ASTA education courses, visit ASTA.org/Education.  The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.
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