The job of a Travel Agent involves identifying needs of individuals and businesses to help them decide on the most suitable travel arrangements. Some agents specialize only in business, while others prefer leisure packages. They work in resorts, cruise lines, airlines and other travel groups.
A successful candidate must possess a high school diploma or some college background in computer science, world history, geography, foreign languages or a similar field. Some employers require travel agents to possess a bachelor’s degree in travel and tourism. Experience in marketing and sales are an advantage.
Effective negotiation and persuasion skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, research skills, sales and marketing skills, basic computer skills, interpersonal skills and strong knowledge in domestic and international travel. Travel agents must also be well-organized, detail-oriented, courteous, accurate, professional and able to work independently and in a team environment.
Specific work elements
Planning itineraries; arranging accommodations, airline or cruise tickets and other travel services for customers; communicating with customers to determine date of travel, destination, mode of transportation, financial considerations and other details; providing customers with brochures, maps and other information that could help their travel easier; computing travel costs; negotiating with various travel-related companies such as hotels, resorts, etc to get discounts and freebies; providing group travelers package tours; recommending travel guides, destinations and other details based on customer needs; and attending travel seminars and industry events, among others.