What you should know about becoming a travel agent?
What you should know about becoming a travel agent?
Most people today get fascinated towards travel and tourism industry because of good salaries and perks they pay. There are numerous benefits attached with this profession such as huge discounts on travel, accommodation along with consistent opportunities to go around the world. The idea seems wonderful isn’t it? But one has to be a master of certain skill sets to boom in this career. You ought to be an extrovert, have a pleasing personality and not to mention people’s person. This profession is the best for those who are passionate and possess positive attitude. Firstly, you have to understand the skills needed for this profession, take benefit of the resources and then consider being a specialist in particular type of travel. Basic educational qualification is an additional requisite for becoming a travel agent. You can take classes in travel planning as they will teach you about “travel and tourism industry”.
A travel agent helps people with their travel and other touring arrangements, the agencies hence prefer to hire candidates who have formal education in the field. A certificate/ degree from an acknowledged institution are required; most of the agencies make potential agents to start their career as reservation clerks and later they are assigned the actual tasks, this is done to make them understand ground level work and gain experience. Working at this level helps them to understand basic procedures related to their job. People go for workshops, trainings and educational courses that help them in grooming themselves; this is also helpful as agents can keep updated about the trends and changes that take place. Aspiring candidates who have travelled to different destinations and have interest in geography and foreign languages are preferred by agencies as they know that they will be able to guide travelers better.
A degree in travel and tourism has many prospects associated with it. The program specifically focuses on the duties of an agent and trains them how industry operates as a whole. Various courses included in degree program are Hospitality information systems, Travel management, Hospitality Operations, and planning and International travel and tourism. Usually, travel agents start their career being receptionists, secretaries and reservation clerks and are assigned the duty of performing organizational and administrative tasks: checking travel requirements, communication with clients and making reservation. After gaining some experience these clerks and receptionists become travel agents. The agents who have formal education usually find taking entry into travel industry little difficult, while one having specialized degree will always have an edge as they can demonstrate necessary proficiency required. They are also preferred in the interviews because hiring a person from relevant educational background would involve less time spent on training and more output even at an earlier stage.
The role of an agent is both challenging as well as rewarding as he has to work with clients and suppliers all across the world. Supplier stands for accommodation providers, insurance brokers and more. An agent has to learn about the services and pricing offered by each supplier along with the booking procedures. He should also be aware of discounts and offers run by suppliers so that there is no confusion when details are discussed with the client. An agent having good knowledge and appears more confident has the capability to generate more sales. It is also his responsibility to book for the options during natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances that can ruin a customer’s holiday. It is the responsibility of an agent to guide the customer whenever needed.
Qualities of a Travel Agent
Most of the successful agents are the ones who are passionate for travel, they are confident to generate sales by satisfying the customers. A person who goes well with others or a ‘people person’ can do well in this profession, a travel agent should be hard working and be ready to go an extra mile to overcome challenges and one who does it gets really big rewards.
A good course covers knowledge of hospitality and travel industry, airport codes and terminology, car rentals and rail travel, international travel information and sales, and customer service. One who possesses right skills can opt for any of the following:
Vacation Agents; These agents handle clients who want to book leisure packages, car rentals, hotels or airfare. Some agencies give freedom to the travel agents to working from home, in these cases, they have offices set up at their homes and calls get routed from the offices.
They work in a fast paced environment doing car rentals, accommodation and air tickets bookings for business travelers. This is a specialized field and the agent makes only business travel arrangements. Such agents can also work from the office or home as per the requirement of their agency.
International travel consultants provide packages for both leisure and business travel. They make arrangements for airline, hotel, car and tours for people who travel outside the country. Only an experienced travel agent can be assigned this task one of the major requirements needed to accomplish this job is that the agent should himself have traveled extensively. International travel agents must be aware of the laws of countries whose travel they deal in. They must also have knowledge of rules and regulations of respective countries. A travel agent must also have understanding of applying for passports and visas.
Home Based Travel Agents
You can start your own travel business if you desire, you must have the knowledge of how travel industry functions. You can decide own company name, fix the working hours and market your company through various means. There are number of host agencies that can help you in settling up their own businesses. They can give you support by helping you out with a website, business cards and marketing ideas. Not only this, these companies can also offer you additional trainings to learn new things.
So, becoming a travel agent is not a big deal but becoming a successful travel agent is something rewarding. You have to be welcoming and adapt positive attitude towards the work you do and their will be no looking back.