Travel Agent Career
Travel Agent Work: Travel agents plan all aspects of travel for consumer and business clients. This includes airplanes, hotels, cars, other transportation, side tours, and other recreation. Travel agents also advise their clients on passports, visas, customs regulations, vaccinations, and other issues involved in foreign travel. Many travel agents develop regional or international specialties. These specialties may have been developed as a result of the travel agent having gone to that location themselves, or otherwise learning much more extensively about it. This provides the travel agent with much more expertise that can help their clients get the most out of their trip. For this reason, many resorts offer travel agents substantial discounts to come to their resort.
Travel Agent Skills: Travel agents must have good writing skills, and be comfortable in using a computer. Travel agents must also be highly organized and have the ability to manage accurately all the details of their clients' trips -– a poorly managed trip would result in a loss of repeat business. In addition, the travel agent must have strong people skills as the travel agent’s ability to get business is dependent on the trust he or she builds with their prospective clients.
Travel Agent School Courses: Travel agent schools offer courses that help familiarize the travel agent with computerized reservation systems such as those used by airlines and hotel chains, provide marketing and sales skills, and offer general background in geography, issues in foreign travel, and foreign languages.
Travel Agent Employment: About 80% of travel agents work for travel agencies, and most of the remainder work for membership organizations. Some travel agents run their own travel agencies on a freelance basis. Formal education at travel agent schools is a key differentiator in getting a job.