A travel agent’s job is to help people arrange and plan their vacations and other travel. It is his or her basic responsibility to reserve and book tickets and hotel stay for travelers. Let’s have a look at what all it takes to be come one.
In order to take up this profession, you need a high school diploma. Many well-known travel companies want their agents to hold a college degree. You can even opt for vocational schools that offer a specialized course to become an agent.
Most companies prefer travel agents with some college background or prior business experience. If you are an avid traveler yourself, or have enough knowledge regarding various tourist destinations, it adds that extra weight to your resume. Professional courses offer programs related to sales, travel destinations, selling a vacation package, identifying best travel deals, and everything related to the travel industry.
You can opt for a diploma offered by vocational schools or a degree from a university. These courses teach you about geography, languages, history, communication, etc., of different regions of the world. You should never stop learning about the world and the Internet is the best source to keep yourself updated. You can always apply for courses such as Certified Travel Associate (CTA) and Certified Travel Councilor (CTC).
The agent would be describing weather condition, the dos and don’ts of the destination, traveling schedule, rent a car or cab options, book a hotel room, etc., based on the traveling budget. All these require you to be observant and well-versed with the travel world and the latest developments. You need to be aware of the political developments, passports, visa regulations, exchange rates, etc., of specific countries. Needless to say, working knowledge of computers is essential.
An agent may also need to travel and visit hotels, restaurants, and resorts to evaluate the service and food quality, before advising clients to visit them. A travel agent’s job involves giving advice on various destinations. He also requires to make recreational arrangements for clients. He should be able to give advice on restaurants, tourist attractions, and cultural history of the chosen destination. The agent should be ready with answers regarding passport, custom regulations, visa, and currency rates. he needs to be thorough with flight timings, departure dates, fares, and hotel rates, as the customer entirely relies on his tips. He should also be knowledgeable in travel insurance, and may need to answer related queries.
If you enter a travel company without the relevant educational background or experience, you may first land yourself a job as a receptionist or secretary. You need to be very alert and pick up various tricks to earn a promotion as a travel agent. Once you get the job, with time, you can become an expert in specific areas of tourism, like international travel, resort vacation, domestic travel, beach vacations, cruise vacations, and even honeymoon vacations.
Your work involves a desk job, answering the phone, and meeting clients. The normally stress-free job becomes hectic during the peak vacation season. You can also set up your own travel agency, and strive to expand your business. A travel agent in America, on an average, earns around $50,000 a year. A spark to see the world, and the art to convince people is the main requirement in this career.