"Tough but fair" is how the first candidates to take it described the new Certified Incentive Travel Professional (CITP) examination, unveiled last weekend at the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Incentive Summit Americas.
Established to standardize and verify incentive travel professionals' skills while promoting professionalism across the industry, CITP certification is available to incentive travel professionals who have at least the past 12 consecutive months and a total of five years' experience in the incentive travel industry, or three years' experience and SITE's Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) designation. In addition, all candidates must have completed 40 hours of professional development activities during the past five years, and must pass a two-hour examination designed to test their professional knowledge of the major processes associated with incentive travel sales, design, and management.
The CITP certification falls between the entry level CIS and the Certified Incentive Travel Executive (CITE) for senior-level industry professionals.
"CITP fills a gap in the market for certification for professionals from the world of incentive travel. The exam is designed to validate the knowledge, experience, and expertise that an incentive travel professional might naturally accumulate over a minimum of five years' full-time employment in the world of incentive travel," said SITE CEO Didier Scaillet. "The letters CITP after your name will be proof of your undisputed professionalism and will enhance the reputation of the company you work for."
The CITP exam will officially launch at IMEX Frankfurt, taking place May 15-17 in Frankfurt, Germany. A group of 20 SITE members, however -- including professionals who work for incentive houses, third-party agencies, hotels, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), and destination management companies (DMCs) -- got a sneak peek at the exam prior to ISA, an invitation-only event that hosted 120 incentive travel professionals April 5-8 for a weekend of education, networking, and destination immersion.
"SITE Incentive Summit Americas is designed as a boutique event where smaller attendee numbers foster deeper connections among the attendees and the host destination," said 2018 SITE ISA Chair Kevin Edmunds, vice president of sales for AIC Hotel Group.
This year's event took place in Park City, UT, where attendees enjoyed skiing and alternative activities such as skeet shooting, fly fishing, painting, and a "Mines & Wines" tour.
"With its old town charm, its magnificent natural setting, and its vast range of incentive-quality accommodations, such as our host hotel, Montage Deer Valley, Park City was the perfect choice for ISA," Edmunds concluded. "A special thank you to all of our sponsors whose participation and contributions make ISA such an extraordinary event. It was a massive honor to serve as 2018 SITE ISA Chair."