NWA travel advisor earns esteemed CTA

Paul Graham with Wish List Travel focuses on education, service

ELKINS, ARK – Paul Graham CTA®, of Wish List Travel in Elkins, recently earned the distinguished Certified Travel Associate, or CTA, designation from The Travel Institute, the travel industry’s benchmark for educational excellence and the only travel organization offering certification for travel professionals’ varying levels of expertise. 

“I’m excited to reach this achievement for my company and my clients,” Graham said. “It was a lot of work, but I learned so much and it’s already made me better at what I do.”

The Certified Travel Associate, CTA®, designation is awarded by The Travel Institute to travel professionals who complete a rigorous training program, including closed-book, proctor-administered testing, to demonstrate extensive industry knowledge and experience and the highest standards of travel professionalism. In addition, CTAs are required to fulfill stringent continuing education requirements each year.

The CTA curriculum focuses on the essential skills needed to succeed as a frontline travel counselor – selling, customer service, destinations, niche markets and communication. The CTA is also the first step in earning the coveted Certified Travel Counselor designation.

Graham said that one of the major qualities that sets him apart from other travel advisors has always been his focus on education in the industry. When COVID-19 shut travel down in 2020, Graham focused on getting as much continuing education and industry certifications as possible.

“I didn’t want to just sit there and wait for travel to start up again,” he said. “This helps me be an even better resource for my clients. I want them to enjoy their trip and not have to worry.”

Graham has been an avid traveler for many years and a professional travel advisor for three years. He has sent more than 400 clients on travel experiences around the world. His growing agency’s motto is “helping turn your travel wishes into memories.” 

Graham’s other professional certifications include:

  • Certified Autism Travel Professional from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards 
  • ASTA Verified Travel Advisor (VTA)
  • Certified Cruise Counsellor (CCC) with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)

According to online records for the various accrediting agencies, Graham is currently the only travel advisor in Arkansas to hold all four major industry certifications.

About The Travel Institute

A collaborative industry effort created in 1964, The Travel Institute is the global leader in industry education and certification for travel professionals. Through innovative educational opportunities, professional certification programs, and customized learning solutions, The Travel Institute enables agent success by instilling a high standard of industry knowledge, professionalism, and excellence. Throughout North America, many successful agents and high-profile leaders credit their success to coursework from The Travel Institute.

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