elearning for tourism travel destinations online training

6 Reasons Why eLearning Costs Less Than Traditional Training

SummaryDestination marketing organizations (DMOs) and convention & visitors bureaus (CVBs) that are new to eLearning for tourism ambassadors, their staff and travel agents often worry about having to increase their training budgets in order to introduce this mode of instruction. In reality, eLearning development can cost significantly less than in-person facilitation.


Why eLearning and Online Training Costs Less Than Traditional Training

As many DMOs and CVBs face the need to update existing training methods and programs, they increasingly consider adding eLearning to the set of the tools they currently use. For travel, tourism & hospitality organizations looking to integrate a new training program, the benefits of eLearning significantly outweigh those of one-on-one facilitation or classroom learning. However, many destinations shy away from employing eLearning (online) instruction out of unwillingness to face or the fear of high initial development costs. While the short-term online course and eLearning development cost may be a challenge, eLearning can end up saving companies huge chunks of training and development budgets by eliminating major instructor-led training expenses. eLearning also can help increase the marketing reach to travel agents, tour operators, tourism ambassadors and community members. 

Traditional training styles may not seem so costly in the short term, but they come with ongoing expenses which over time add up to huge amounts of money. One of the key advantages of eLearning is that, while requiring little to no ongoing upkeep, it offers faster delivery cycles as compared to conventional learning. In fact, studies indicate that eLearning has the potential to reduce overall training time by 40% to 60%. This helps businesses cut down on various expenses and also increase productivity, which in turn leads to greater profitability.

An online training system minimizes various costs that are typically associated with in-person training. This includes travel and accommodation, meal costs, classroom maintenance, venue rental, printed learning materials, and salaries for instructors and other support staff. With outdated training, updating existing, and producing new learning materials can be costly and quite time-consuming.


RELATED: Online Tourism Ambassador Training

RELATED: Online Destination & Product Training for Agents


Online training platforms allow users to update essential lesson plans and text documents easily and quickly, and because they remain online, companies can save big on printing costs. Let's take an in-depth look at how eLearning development can reduce staff training and development budgets in the long run.

1. Travel And Accommodation

In-person classrooms require both the trainees and trainers to travel to a predetermined location in order to conduct a training session. Businesses are typically faced with incurring this travel cost on behalf of their employees and pay for it from their training and development budgets. In case of eLearning, however, no such costs need to be incurred since the staff can tune in to the training session from the comfort of their home or work station.

As an example, McDonald's was able to save 5 million pounds over the course of two years with their Business Controls eLearning, along with witnessing a 10% sales growth directly attributable to the training.

2. Meal Costs

Snack and meal breaks are quite common during the long training sessions, the cost of which is typically incurred by the business for their trainees and facilitators. However, this expense can also be eliminated if training workshops and classes are conducted online. This applies equally to training your destination stakeholders and to training travel agents & tour operators on how to promote your product. 

3. Venue Rental/Meeting Room Maintenance

It is a common understanding that in-person classroom training requires a proper physical space to carry out the event. What we often see in the field is that a small business that doesn’t have appropriate training facilities might need to rent a separate venue to execute the training program successfully. If the company already has spare space which it can utilize, it will still need to incur some form of maintenance cost to make the environment meet its training requirements.

4. Time Spent Away From Work

Classroom training requires the instructor and attendees to leave their workplaces, which can have an impact on the business's productivity. Furthermore, much time is wasted on moving employees from one spot to another—time that can otherwise be utilized on productive work. In contrast, eLearning allows employees to attend their training sessions right from their desks, which can save a lot of time and hassle.

5. Instructors/Fascinators' Salaries

This is a simple truth: Staff trainers and facilitators need to be paid. Moreover, instructors themselves will also need to be trained, which in turn requires time and money.

6. Printing Costs

With eLearning, destination marketing organizations can save a great deal on printing materials since all content can be hosted online without the need to be printed for each training session. For example, if the company decides to update a policy and wishes to inform its employees about the related changes, this can be easily achieved through The Tourism Academy's Learning Management System, or a link in an email without facing the need to print and distribute physical guides and manuals.

Besides eliminating numerous business expenses, eLearning has a lot more to offer. These benefits include enhanced reach and collaboration, improved learner engagement and retention, and overall better productivity. The fact that eLearning materials are accessible to employees throughout the day allows them to learn the subject at their own pace and in a comfortable setting.

Furthermore, unlike traditional in-person learning methods, eLearning encourages fast learners to complete their training sooner, which, in turn, helps improve productivity and save personal time.

In short, the long-term cost of eLearning is significantly lower as compared to in-person training because business can save money on employee and trainer travel, infrastructure and classroom maintenance, facilitators’ salaries, documentation, and paper costs. eLearning expenses are usually a one-time occurrence since the same material can be used for multiple learning sessions.

Additionally, an increasing number of people today appreciate businesses that are seen as "green", and eLearning may help a business to be seen in a "greener" light due to a lower carbon footprint and reduced paper waste.

The long-term cost of in-person facilitation, especially in large-scale businesses, supersedes the initial cost of eLearning development. If you are thinking about incorporating eLearning practices in your training and development strategy, but are unsure of how much it will end up costing, your first step should be requesting an eLearning price quote from an eLearning vendor. Once you receive the quote, you can compare the cost of eLearning to the amount you are spending on instructor-led facilitation, and you might very well realize that you will end up saving money in the long term by switching to eLearning.

Bonus: Who are your stakeholders?

Bring destination stakeholders into alignment to support tourism:

Tourism Ambassadors from all possible market sectors come together to create a full visitor experience. Destinations, both big and small, can align these sectors successfully because each benefits from a positive visitor experience!  Here are just a few of those who are positively impacted by your credentialed tourism ambassadors (CTA).

  • Transportation hubs like Airports, Rail Stations, Bus Depots, etc.
  • Activities, Attractions & Events - arts, culture, heritage, casinos, sports
  • Government - City, State, Federal - elected officials like mayors and city council, government employees like police and community outreach
  • Community Members - Passionate Volunteers & Local Citizens
  • Conference Hotels, Convention Centers & Meeting Places
  • Local Mom & Pop Shops and Downtown Merchants
  • Community & Workforce Development / Economic Development
  • Schools & Higher Education - colleges, universities, community colleges
  • Medical Facilities - Urgent Care Centers & Hospitals
  • Lodging & Hotels - home rentals, beds & breakfast, RV parks, hotels, etc.
  • Bars, Clubs, Lounges & Nightlife
  • Real Estate and Reinvestment Firms
  • Places to Dine - coffee shops, restaurants, classy joints and local favorites
  • Commercial Real Estate - malls, downtown alliances, retailers, districts, etc.
  • Event Facilities - convention center, arena, theaters, concert halls, sporting events
  • Modes of Transport - Uber, Lyft, taxi, cab, shuttle, public transit, local trolly, limo, motorcoach
  • Tourism Promoters - Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO), Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Chambers of Commerce & Community Economic Development Groups
  • Everyone else - Tourism Spending benefits every local person and entity through reduced taxes and economic development, including local banks, corporations, etc.

Need help aligning your community, finding tourism ambassadors or designing your tourism ambassador program? Contact us today and our expert team will be happy to help you get the results you’re looking for. Cheers!

Leave a comment