Some national tourism bureaus operate training programs for travel agents whom they then designate as country "specialists." Currently there are no industry standards for how much training is given, but the countries below require course work, arrange visits to the country and send their designated agents frequent updates and literature. Using the resources below, you can find country-designated agents near you, searching by city or Zip code.
* Australia: 800-723-1400, www.australia.com.
* Canada: www.travelcanada.ca.
* France: 410-286-8310, www.franceguide.com (click on "travel services").
* Great Britain: www.visitbritain.com.
* Ireland: www.shamrockclub.net.
* Jamaica: www.visitjamaica.com (click on "Planning Your Trip" to see an agent locator).
* Mexico: The country is currently conducting its first training of agents. In coming months, you should be able to find them at www.visitmexico.com or by calling 800-446-3942.
* Puerto Rico: A list of specially trained agents will be included in a new site, www.prteonline.com, that is slated to be up and running in October.
* Spain: www.okspain.org.
* St. Lucia: Agents will have completed a new training program and be listed at www.stlucia.org by the end of this year.