The biggest misnomer for anyone interested in becoming a travel agent is that you can travel all over the world anytime you want for little or next to nothing. I am sorry to say that there is much hard work for little benefit. Don’t get me wrong, in my 20+ year career I have had the opportunity to travel to incredible destinations and I wouldn’t trade my career as a travel agent or working in the travel industry for anything. The biggest reward for me is making someone’s dream trip come to fruition.
In an industry that is challenged by the Internet, it is imperative for anyone who wants to be a travel agent to be well versed in geography, up to date on current events and sensitive to the diverse cultures of the countries that your clients are interested in traveling to. A travel agent on top of their game possesse the ability to address the distinct needs of each customer and delivers high quality responsive service. Without this ability, the travel agent loses to the internet every time.
The Internet is a powerful tool and can make researching a destination quick and easy. Can a client go to the Internet and access the same information that you can? Most definitely. So you ask, how can a travel agent be competitive? The key to this is service. Most travelers are not interested in booking their dream vacation through an entity that is intangible. Basically, they want someone who they can rely on and hold their hand through the entire process. The following information can help you understand what it takes to be a great travel agent.
A good travel agent learns the ins and outs of the industry. This means understanding every component that goes into a travel package such as air, hotel, car, transfers, tours, etc. Learn the industry lingo. Understand the difference between a FIT and an escorted tour. Knowing what resources to use and getting the information quickly to your client will give them the confidence that they have made the right choice in coming to you to fulfill their lifelong dream of travel. The sale doesn’t end until the client returns from the trip. Follow-up is key to return business and a satisfied client is a great source of new business for you.
Being able to speak confidently about products and service is key to making a sale. It is your job to educate the traveller on what he or she should expect from their trip. Helping them to understand that travel is not an exact science will ensure that their expectations of their dream trip will be met.
So, go ahead and fulfill your dream of becoming a travel agent. Share the beauty of the world with clients who are eager to enjoy the cultures, sights and sounds of incredible destinations.