Travel agents are much more than what people perceive them to be. Perhaps at one point in our lives, we have done some travel agent tasks. If you like to spend the right amount of time scanning various flights, searching for suitable hotels, and looking for lovely holiday spots worldwide, you should think about becoming an agent.
Travel agents perform more than ordinary travel arrangements. They can act as consultants for organizations looking to embark on big trips. Travel agents typically help handle logistics when a large number of people travel for a long journey. It could be a local or a foreign trip.
Travel agents organize anything from a simple wedding honeymoon to a pilgrimage journey, which involves thousands of people. So many people are interested in the profession but lack any idea about how to become one. This article serves as a definitive guide for those interested in becoming a travel agent.
Table of Contents
The Academic Background of a Travel Agent
In looking to become a travel agent, there is no specific educational background needed to become a travel agent. Every travel agent, at some point, decide on the profession due to their passion for tourism and travelling.
However, there are related industries that can be beneficial to you as a travel agent. Any course related to hotels, tourism, and hospitality will give you a competitive edge over competitors. Other than this, the profession is pretty much open for anybody. Most people choose to get certifications in tourism and hospitality to be relevant in the industry.
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Previous formal training in business, hospitality, travel management, or event planning will handy handling large professional travelling contracts. Furthermore, a travel agent should be knowledgeable about destinations, itinerary planning, booking software, sales, and other crucial elements.
Training Required to Be a Travel Agent
Most people get one form of exercise before they begin their travel agency business. Some travel agents get specific training that covers their area of specializations. One good example of a training institution for agents is The Travel Institute.
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This is one program that exclusively prepares the travel agent for the profession. Regardless of your academic background, this program develops and equips the aspiring travel agent to take on any task and deliver. Technically, they prepare the ambitious travel agent by teaching them the fundamentals of travel planning itineraries.
They also ensure that prospective travel agents get to learn about different cultures of the world. Furthermore, the budding travel agents were introduced to the geography of different countries and their travel experiences.
The program comes with lots of benefits like exposing you to some of the latest trends in the industry, which involves knowing how to create travel products, rendering travel services, using fundamental travel software like Sabre, and so on.
The Travel Institute also offers career/business decision schemes for its candidates. For instance, young travel agents are helped choose what business route in the business they are willing to take. The program is the shortest journey to excelling in the industry.
The Logistics Involved in Becoming a Travel Agent
If you consider becoming a travel agent, you will most likely start your agency. One advantage of starting your travel agency is that there is little overhead needed for the business. There are different types of business structure you can adopt as a travel agent. You can become an independent contractor or a freelancer.
You can also begin by owning a Limited liability company or a partnership; there are several ways to get into the business. As an independent contractor, you work as an affiliate for a more prominent travel agency.
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The route of an independent contractor is the smartest entry point for people starting in the business. They first become independent contractors up to a point where they build a solid clientele. After which they can then venture out on their own.
Things to Do as a Travel Agent
The moment you get your travelling agency business off the ground, there are certain things that you can do to remain competitive and relevant in the industry.
The following three elements are useful for new travel agents.
Most travel agents that work for more extensive travel and touring companies earn a commission for every successful travel deal they complete. This commission is agreed upon early in the partnership.
Furthermore, new travel agents who are independent contractors to larger agencies should ensure that their commission rates are comparable to the industry’s standard rates.
Growing your Clientele
Most people tend to wonder how travel agents make their money. This answer is not far fetched. Travel agents make money from their clients. As a travel agent, you need both old and new clients to stay in business. Travel agents create clients that are satisfied and happy with past services rendered.
This is one verified way of staying in business because a happy client will likely return for more business while acting as a referral for your business. Travel agents keep their clients happy by getting them great deals, putting together mind-blowing trips, and maintaining relationships.
Additionally, as a travel agent, you would have to carry out an extensive marketing strategy to find new clients.
Choosing a Niche for Your Agency
Choosing a niche for your travelling agency is not required to become the right travel agent. However, as you slowly establish your travel agency business, you could choose to focus on a particular niche in the industry.
For instance, as a travel agent, you may want to concentrate on adventure travel, luxury travel, pilgrimage journeys, or honeymoon travel. Any niche you choose will help you attract clients.
The travel agency business is so big enough that there are different niches to choose from. You could organize trips for companies, organizations, sports teams/fans, religious bodies, etc. The possibilities are endless.
The travel agency business is a structured profession and has specific entry points. Whereas it is open for everyone, it is a highly competitive industry. The people who most likely excel in the trade have what is known as a competitive edge.
This article offers the definitive guide to help aspiring travel agents to take the right path and become successful in the business.