The work of the travel agents is to make travel arrangements for different clients. The clients may be individuals or organizations. The agents have to specialize in a particular type of travel tours. If the travel agents work with some cruise line, their work will also involve promoting their cruise line and bringing more travelers to take up the tours. They may also be associated with a resort or some travel agencies.
There are travel agents who have their own travel agencies. They may employ other travel agents under them. The job involves advising the clients about various available options for travel and making all the arrangements, such as hotel accommodation, transportation and car rentals and sight-seeing.
They act as a link between the cruise lines, resorts and travelers. They have to provide the information about the weather of the destination and what all arrangements the travelers have to make on their own. The information on visa and other documents, exchange rates and rules and regulations is also to be provided by the travel agent.
If you wish to become a travel agent, the minimum you need is a high school diploma. The technology has changed and the employers are looking for candidates that have proper knowledge of internet and computers and have done some vocational training course as well. There are particular travel and tourism courses that one may take up. As an additional advantage, the people with knowledge of some foreign languages are preferred because it will make it easier for them to go to a particular country and communicate with the people. Candidates with world history as their subject can also be chosen. The travel institutes in different countries have courses that provide certification for the post of certified travel counselor and certified travel associate.
If you wish to attain success in this profession, there are some qualities that you must have. You need to be well organized and have a professional approach towards your job. Accuracy and love for the details is one other trait that you must have. As you need to deal with new people everyday, you should be a master in inter personal communication skills. Sales ability combined with good writing skills is the best combination of qualities that you can have. Vast knowledge about various tourist destinations and foreign countries is a must. He too would get to learn a lot while on a journey. He should be a quick thinker and an intelligent decision makes in case of some problems. Contacts work a lot for such people. If he has a lot of contacts in the industry, he will benefit from it. Good communication skills will help him in getting more number of travelers. A knowledgeable and mature person who knows how to handle multiple responsibilities at a time is the best candidate for the job. He is expected to have knowledge about the rules and regulations of the country where he operates his tours. Courteous attitude is a must in a travel agent and he should understand the needs of the clients and make arrangements according to that. Experience also counts here.
If you want to enter the travel and tourism industry as a travel agent, you can take up vocational training courses. These training courses can be taken from different colleges and institutes. There are travel agent programs that focus on developing the skills of people to take up the job of a travel agent. These programs can be full or part time in nature. There are online courses as well for training to become a travel agent. In the training, you will be imparted with knowledge regarding the different types of tours and how to make arrangements and different cruise lines and tourist destinations. Knowledge about the systems used and the sales process will also be learned by you. You need to have good knowledge of the internet as the reservations today take place online.
When you join a travel agency at the post of a travel agent, the employers require you to have some prior experience of traveling and training with some company. New talent is also welcome but people who have a love for traveling and have knowledge about different tourist destinations will be preferred.
People who have proper knowledge of the tourist destinations and have their diplomas and degrees at place can find amazing opportunities in the industry. There are a number of travel agencies that you can work with. It is all about your way to sell the packages that will attract the clients. After you have some experience of working with a travel agency, you can open up your own business and earn a good amount.
There may be a lot of determining factors for the salary of travel agents. It depends upon the travel agency you are working with. Your experience will earn you good money as well. The average salary will be $29,210. It can go up to $46,270. There are fringe benefits that these agents can enjoy.
The travel industry has seen a change with the introduction of internet to make reservations. More people are heading to internet and the travel agents can thus operate from internet and provide their services. If you are enthusiastic enough to roam around the world, meet new people and explore new destinations, the job of a travel agent will be the best for you.