How to Become a Travel Agent
Although there has been a huge advancement and automation in travel in the past few years, travel agents are still very much in business and make a great deal of cash off travelers who are interested in taking the stress of planning a trip off their shoulders.
Our article covers all the job descriptions of a travel agent also known as a travel advisor as well as the nitty-gritty of creating a successful career in travel advisory.
What Do Travel Agents Do?
There are various roles that a travel advisor or agent has to play as clients have a wide range of needs that must be met.
They help clients get the best destinations and lodging available in any chosen location, they assist in booking of flights and making reservations.
It is the role of the travel agent to ascertain from the client what type of trip they want to take so as to help them make the best decisions for their trip for instance; if the client is planning on hitting the road for a family getaway, then the agent can help them choose the best all-inclusive resort to spend their vacation at the best rates with premium features based on client’s needs and budget.
Travel advisors make it easier for anyone to travel without going through all the hassles that come with planning a trip even up to when things go wrong including delayed departures, medically related emergencies while traveling and more.
Your agent will also hook you up with a translator, experienced tour guide, drivers and private security.
What Formal Training Is Needed To Become A Travel Agent
There is really no formal education needed for one to venture into the travel advisory career. But of course, certification in a course like tourism for instance, can come in handy while experience or equal training in fields like marketing or salesmanship can help you better in handling the business as well as landing clients with ease.
It’s best not to rush starting your own independent travel agency but rather, get some experience by working for an established agency before venturing to start your own.
Gather as much knowledge and experience as you can to help you advance professionally. You can also enroll for travel courses in institutes dealing on travel. Don’t shy away from the opportunity of mentorship from other travel agents who are already making it in business.
Steps Involved In Becoming a Travel Agent
To become a travel agent, the following should be considered;
Get Some Training
For you to start any business or venture into any career of choice, you need to possess a know-how of the operating process of the industry as well as the perks involved. Travel advisory is no different.
You do not need a college degree or some sort of license to become a travel agent, however, for clients to trust you with their time and money and commit the planning of their trip to you, you’ll need some form of travel certification to prove that you are worth your salt.
The Travel Institute offers a certification for students who pass their Travel Agent Proficiency Test which assures clients that you are actually skilled as a travel advisor and the Certified Travel Associate Certification which goes a long way to demonstrate your years of experience thereby, impressing potential clients.
Expand Your Industry Knowledge
Things are bound to change at any given time in the travel industry. As a good travel advisor, you must stay abreast on the current trends in travel.
Do not stop taking courses regularly for professional advancement, stay on top of what’s happening in the travelling space, research on new and interesting destinations for clients, networking is equally important to help you meet new clients. Attending as many travel advisory events as you can is equally essential.
Find a Niche and Build Your Brand Around it
If you are starting your own travel agency, it makes work easier for you when you target a specific niche. You can choose to focus on one type of travel such as luxury travel or family travel or specialize on particular locations. This way, you find it less pressing to reach your target client Having chosen your niche, it makes your brand notable for your specialty.
Maintaining a pattern on how you engage with clients and how you plan your clents’ trips so as to align with your brand’s core values and mission statement.
If however, you are working under an already established agency, ensure that you determine your commission beforehand so you don’t end up getting underpaid for your services.
Effective communication with clients is also part of what will set you up for success especially if you are starting out on your own. Always ensure that you keep the conversation going with clients by asking the right questions to help you understand what they need and invent ways to serve them to the best of your abilities.
Clients will return to give you good reviews and ratings when you help them save money on travel and when they get their money’s worth. So get to work on finding them the best deals and discounts each time.
Travel advisory has proven to be more competitive over the years so standing out and thinking outside of the box will do you more good than blending in with the rest of the crowd
Frequently Asked Questions
What Skills do you Need to Become a Travel Agent?
The standard skills that a travel agent should have include: communication skills, customer service skills, listening skill, attention to details and ability to convince customers
Do I need to Specialize in any Area of Travel as an Agent?
You can have a greater advantage over your competition by sticking to a niche, that way, your customers trust you more and consider you an expert.
How do Travel Agents Get Client
There are many ways that travel agents can lead more clients their way including using social media to attract their target audience, reviews & recommendations from past clients and growing a mailing list via your website is also another authentic way to get more clients
Is it Hard Becoming a Travel Agent?
Becoming a travel agent can be daunting at first as there are a lot of things you might need to wrap your head around. Once you’re past the initial stages and your customers start streaming in, it becomes a whole lot easier
How Much Does a Travel Agent Make?
A travel agent can make as much as $30,000 to $50,000 annually depending on the popularity of their agency, customer ratings and the yield of their niche.
Once you have started your journey as a travel agent, it is important to start growing a clientale. Find out ways to make your customers happy and satisfied so as to keep them coming back to do business with you on subsequent trips. Go out of your way to look for the best deals on accomodations, flights and activities.