A Closer Look at a Career as a Travel Agent
There’s a famous travel quote by St. Augustine that you probably have seen in social media or retail establishments, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Travel is an activity that has expanded due to the convenience and efficiency of making travel bookings, thanks largely in part to internet technology. However, even with numerous apps or software related to travel, a lot of people still rely on travel agents to help them with their travel packages. After all, it’s always best to hear recommendations straight from the horse’s mouth and experience wonderful customer service at the same time.
If you enjoy traveling and have a know-how for historical landmarks and tourist sites and would like to harness this passion and knowledge and help customers, being a travel agent is something you can consider as a career. Read on more about this to find out.
Travel Agents – What You Need to Know
Travel agents are mainly responsible for assisting individuals or groups with planning and booking their travel. Their tasks encompass facilitating ticket purchases from airlines, reserving accommodations and restaurants, arranging for pick up and transport or for car rentals, and itinerary preparation for guided tours so customers can go to locations of interest in a particular area.
Travel agents should also have general travel knowledge as customers will rely on them to establish a holistic travel experience, so this means they would not only help in making the travel arrangements and selecting guided tours for their customers, they also have to consider their customers’ shopping and food preferences, as well as other distinct needs, that meet their expectations.
While formal education is not required to be a travel agent, it is an advantage to complete travel- or tourism-related programs in vocational schools or community colleges and work for travel agencies with accreditation from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies or ACTA. Acquiring professional designations such as a Certified Travel Counsellor or a Certified Travel Manager can also be a huge boost.
According to PayScale.com, a travel agent can earn an average of $25,987 to $46,321 per year. In some cases, they can also earn bonuses and commissions for the clients they book.
To flourish in this field, travel agents will need to have impeccable organizational and coordination skills since they will have to be in constant contact with various service providers like airline companies or cruise lines to secure travel arrangement for customers.
It is also an advantage to have excellent communication strengths to be able to clearly explain to customers their different options in travel packages.
Pros and Cons
A career as a travel agent is incredibly fresh and interesting as you’ll get to learn about fascinating places and amazing culture and use your resourcefulness to create customized travel bookings for your customers.
Because of their high demand, travel agents are usually asked to work on weekends and even on holidays to ensure that customers who are interested in travel bookings are accommodated. In some cases, travel agents are on call so they can assist customers who run into issues during their travel. This part of the job can be stressful to some as they will have to attend to the call no matter what time of day or night it is and ensure that the issues are addressed and resolved.