It has come to an era where the world seems to be getting smaller and smaller, in which connections between two ends of the world seem to be just a flight away. In a nutshell, it has turned out to be in such a way that humans can easily reach to each other and talk face to face despite the distance.
Being on top of the economy food chain, business plays an important role in our daily life, as it is the main stream of money source where most everything that is involved in our daily lives is within its grasp. As we have acknowledged or predicted the painful effects of economic recession, there is no doubt in questioning its importance in our lives. Therefore, business people around the world are considered crucial role players in deciding in which direction our economy is heading. Important business decisions that affect the lives of many are made by them. Therefore, in order to make things clear and to make important decisions, these people are made to visit separate parts of the world just to make business deals or to get into a meeting and deal with high-level society people.
Business traveling seems to be a must in their daily lives and has been made a routine in most of their business matters. There are issues where meeting up face to face for discussions is considered to yield a much more fruitful decision, not to mention, it too gives a sense of respect. In other words, business travelling is essential and important.
Why Business Travel Consultant?
As for the business person who lives in such a tedious lifestyle, time is spent more on thinking about projects and development of the economy; therefore, it is necessary for the supporting team players to come into the picture.
One of the main supporting team players is the business travel consultant. This position acts like the secretary of a business person where they plan and carry out tasks related to flight booking, hotel reservations, cab reservations, etc., as long as it is related to the business person’s travel route.
It is an interesting, exciting, and challenging career which requires a lot of critical planning skills and public relations skills. One might be encountering last-minute or emergency tasks where one is required to plan and also implement the whole trip almost instantly. For those who are good in logical thinking and have a wide range of network with the tourism circle, it is a good career to be in.
Business Travel Consultant Trends
As shown from the data from simplyhired.com, the job trend for business travel consultant has decreased 33 percent from May 2007 to October 2008. However, in October 2008, there seemed to be a slight increase in the recruitment. While doing a job search online, it could be seen that many companies are still hiring people to work in such positions. It seems to be that this career field is still much in demand.
Average Business Travel Consultant Salaries
As shown by the data from simplyhired.com, as of Jan 18, 2009, business travel consultants yield an average salary of $74,000. However, the pay depends greatly upon the location, company, industry, benefits given by the company, and also the experience one has in this field.
In this field, usually company pay is constant. However, the pay might be enhanced with various benefits provided by the company with its networks. Normally, the larger the network chain of the company, the better benefits one would be able to enjoy. In addition, there might be sales commissions and incentives.
To work as a business travel consultant, usually they look for people who are:
- Equipped with an enthusiasm and professionalism in dealing with clients’ needs.
- Well organized.
- Effective communicators.
- Good in public relations and critical thinking.
- Knowledgeable in current transportation fares and hotel rates in different areas of the globe.
- Familiar with the company’s travel policy and are able to work within it.
- Able to produce a trip which is within budget while satisfying clients’ need.
- Able to clearly and fully understand clients’ need in terms of time schedule, transportation, and lodging area.
- Able to do air ticketing, train ticketing, hotel reservation, visa documentation arrangement, and car rental.
- Knowledgeable in travel software like GDS. Galileo or Sabre are also acceptable and Worldspan or Amadeus would be accepted in some companies. Galileo is essential for booking travel flights.
- Knowledgeable in using Elgar for business travel reservations. This is an added advantage.
- Previously experienced in business travel.
- Knowledgeable in dining areas around the globe.
In the career line of working as a business travel consultant, one can emerge and become a senior business travel consultant. To look further than that, one can easily switch to fields such as public relations, human resource management, and anything related to tourism management. Furthermore, one can even start one’s own company of business travel consultancy.
Business travel consultants are basically travel agents who specialize in business travel. Their roles are most like those of a travel secretary where they ensure that the business travel trip will be handled according to clients’ needs and within the company’s policies. There are companies that have established travel policies and travel budgets. Therefore, as mentioned, one should be very familiar with these policies and work within them. Usually clients will inform the consultant about their destination, business involved, stay duration, and desired time of arrival or departure, whereas the consultant will be required to fulfill all of these conditions including arranging visa documentations, booking of the flight, transportation, hotel, and anything in between. One may be required to recommend dining areas and provide company travel advantages to the client.
Typical Work Activities
Typical work activities will depend upon the company and the clients’ company’s policy one is working on. Furthermore, additional responsibilities would be required to be taken care depending on your level of seniority.