- Travel Agent
Who is a Travel Agent?
I traveled among unknown men, in lands beyond the sea; nor England! did I know till then what love I bore to thee ~William Wordsworth
When you plan a holiday with your family there are a number of things that need to be taken care of like the travel tickets, hotel bookings, tour guides and many such things. Ever thought of making a career as a travel agent in order to have the best possible travel plans. The travel industry constitutes a significant amount in the annual GDP of the country. Every year this number keeps on growing. Therefore, a travel agent is a person who is always in demand especially during the holiday season. Travel agents have the option of working for a travel based company or they can also be their own boss.
A travel agent is a professional working in the tour and travel industry. His or her work responsibility involves arranging travel for the end clients such as individuals, corporations, or groups on behalf of his or her supplier such as hotels, airlines, railway, travel insurance, package tours, and other facilities). A travel agent’s job is to simplify the travel process by providing consultation to their customers and help them in booking the travel packages that involve reservations of all the required services during the travel. A travel agent can be self-employed. Either he or she works for an independent travel agency or can be a part of a travel agency. A travel agent may specialize in leisure travel or corporate travel. There are also other niches in the travel market. The agents generally receive 10-15 percent commissions from accommodations, transport companies, and on the attraction of coordination for transport bookings.It saves time to book a hotel or plan and make arrangements for a trip through a travel agent. Nowadays travel suppliers such as hotel chains, airlines, and other travel attractions have made their strong presence on the internet to attract the traffic of travelers. It has resulted in decreasing the number of travel agencies. A travel agent is beneficial for planning and arranging multi-destination trips or international trips.
Travel Agent in a Nutshell
To become a travel agent one does not require a degree. One can master the skills and gather knowledge about the industry and become a travel agent. Travel agents are involved in planning trips for their clients in their day to day life. Travel agents stay updated about the hospitality and travel industry. They stay aware about the schedules of airlines, fare prices and charges on hotel bookings. They make travel arrangements as per the clients requirements and budget.
Quick Facts for Travel Agent
Average Salary in India
Male, Female, Others
A travel agent’s profession is irrespective of the gender. It suits everyone who has passion and willingness to make the travel convenient and easy for their customers.
Any special needs
It depends on the work culture of the organization. If it is a desk job then it suits the candidates with special needs otherwise it may become difficult if it will require travel. There are several types of jobs, the candidates with special needs can opt for a desk job which requires taking queries on call and emails and resolving it.
Table of Contents for Travel Agent
What is the role of Travel Agent?
A travel agent goes through the vast information to find the best options to plan the trips for their customers. The resorts and specialty groups hire travel agents to promote their traveling packages. Travel agents visit various locations, and cities in order to get first-hand experience. They visit hotels and resorts to evaluate their services such as comfort, hygiene and cleanliness, the quality of food and other things.This experience benefits them as they can recommend their vacation packages to their clients and hence they will make profits on commissions as well. A travel agent spends his or her most of the time interacting with their clients, resolving their queries, understanding their travel needs, and recommending them travel packages. They contact airlines and hotels to make travel arrangements. There is a travel system commonly known as a Global Distribution System or GDS widely used by travel agents to access travel information and contact travel suppliers such as airlines, and hotels to make reservations.
Make travel arrangements
A travel agent is responsible for arranging business travel and vacation travel for his or her customers. He or she organises the trip that involves reserving flights, hotels, rented cars and other facilities for a comfortable journey.
The prime responsibility of a travel agent is to understand what his or her customer wants, what they do require such as schedules and costs.
Planning tour packages
A travel agent is responsible for planning and arranging tour packages that incursions and day trips. A tour package involves visits and sightseeing of places depending on the interest of clients. A travel agent makes each arrangement as per the timings and budget that suits the client.
A travel agent stays informed about fare and schedule of travel. A travel agent stays updated with the fare charges of airlines, buses and rented cars. He or she stays updated about the schedule of airlines and other developments for travel and plans the budget accordingly.
A travel agent confirms reservation for travel, hotel, airlines, rental cars, and events such as tours and excursions on the scheduled date and timing and informs the same to his or her customers.
Describing customs and traditions
A travel agent describes his or her customer about the weather conditions, customs, and other major attractions of the cities or destinations they are planning to visit.
Making alternative arrangements
A travel agent makes alternate travel bookings if sudden change arises during the trip or before. A travel agent always has several options for last minute travel or alternative plans. They don't panic and make it a smooth trip for their clients.
Types of a Travel Agent
Leisure travel agents: Leisure travel agents sell vacation packages to their clients. They plan and arrange trips as per the interest and budget of the clients. They plan adventure tours. The leisure travel agents may also cater to a specific group of people such as senior citizens or single people.
Corporate travel agents: Corporate travel agents are responsible for making travel arrangements for businesses. They plan and organize the trip for the employees of an organization for the purpose of business meetings or to attend conferences.
Retail travel agent: Retail travel agents advise the general people about the travelling requirements such as visas, passport. They provide information about the exchange of currency for those who are traveling to foreign nations. They provide all the necessary information such as timetable and travel literature. A retail travel agent computes fare costs, makes reservations, and sells tour packages developed by wholesale travel companies.
Web-based travel agent: A web-based travel agent sells holiday and tour packages over the internet. He or she provides all the information about accommodation and flight bookings on the internet. Web-based travel agents make last-minute travel deals with varieties of options of travel convenient. It saves time and money to visit other travel agents to make bookings at the last minute.
What is the workplace/work environment of Travel Agent like?
A travel agent provides assistance to individuals and groups to plan and arrange travel. It includes facilitating ticket purchases for travel, reserving accommodations for stay, and renting cars. Travel agents recommend travel packages to their clients while assisting them in booking vacation packages that include a tour, and visits specific locations of their interest. Travel agents typically earn through commissions for booking arrangements from the providers themselves. A travel agent is allowed to have access to real-time variable data. Travel agents work with individuals to plan trips including multiple destinations, transportation modes, and sightseeing.
The career of a travel agent is under threat due to self-booking websites. Travel agents require flexibility to offer varieties of options to their clients to such extent that a travel website cannot. By this practice, they can still survive in the travel industry and compete with giant players with flourishing opportunities. The travel agents are required to improve customer service and possess vast travel knowledge with their own personal experiences. A travel agent should get a formal education from vocational schools or colleges offering a degree in travel programmes in order to get a professional license.
Does Travel Agent require travelling?
The career is based in the travel industry but traveling is not necessary for this career. A travel agent is assigned a desk job, unlike a travel guide who accompanies the client during the whole trip. It depends on the organization if it assigns several responsibilities to a travel agent that requires travel. Otherwise, traveling is not a necessity.
This career ensures full time and works from home employment opportunities. There is no scope for hourly basis employment.
The industry offers both types of employment contractual and permanent. It depends on the requirements of the organisation.
A travel agent works in an office setting.
Presence in Geographical Area
A travel agent finds flourishing opportunities in locations enriching with historical heritage and monuments or vacation destinations irrespective of their geographical conditions. New Delhi, Kerala, Jaipur, and Agra are the job hubs for travel agents in India. These cities are enriched by cultural heritage and attract a huge number of travelers every year.
Travel agents do not face any time pressure. Travel agents work 8-9 hours a day and 35-40 hours a week. A travel agent works in an office setting.
Working overtime is generally not seen in the case of travel agents. However, due to travel discrepancies, they might be required to work for long hours.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 35 Hours
A travel agent works 8-9 hours a day and 35-40 hours a week.
How to become a Travel Agent?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Travel Agent?
Adventurous: When we think of travel and vacations, we think of adventure. Humans strive for adventure in their busy lives. They make time and spend money to get adventure in their life. There are travel agencies that specialize in designing such travel packages known as adventure travel or ecotravel. They hire travel agents having the same interest in adventure.
Communication skills: Travel agents have to interact with so many people and clients whom they are meeting for the first time and host them. It is necessary that they bear confidence while communicating with people. They have to listen to them attentively and resolve their queries.
Customer-service: There are times when customers ask for changes or cancel plans at the last minute or when every arrangement has been planned and taken out by the agents. In such situations, travel agents are required to tackle the situation with calmness and a friendly manner. A travel agent has to respond to their complaints and queries as well.
An eye for detail: Travel agents are required to be attentive and carefully check that the arrangements they have made are as per the customers’ needs. They have to make sure the reservation dates are correct, seats are confirmed, and locations to meet the customers or travelers are correct and as per schedule.
Organising skills: Travel agents are required to be organized as they have to meet many customers and resolve their queries and take their complaints as well. They have to interact with them in a professional manner by keeping them informed about the orders and ensure their bills and receipts are processed.
Business sense: Travel agents sell traveling packages with several services to customers. They must bear high persuading skills to ensure their customers that whatever they have offered to their customers is better. Most travel agents do not have permanent jobs. Their earnings depend on the commission and service fees.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Travel Agent?
The candidates can go through numerous recruitment websites and apply for internships. A certification in travel and tourism increases the chances of an internship in a reputed organization. Internships are essential for developing skills and getting exposure to the industry. Candidates can directly apply for internships through the official websites of travel agencies. The interns are required to provide assistance to their seniors. They are asked to handle itinerary preparation for Indian destinations. They are also involved in cost estimation and acquisition of hotels. Travel interns are assigned to sell tour packages. Their responsibilities may vary depending on the size of the travel agency or organisation.
Career Path Progression for Travel Agent
Travel coordinator: A travel coordinator is often known as a travel officer. He or she is responsible for scouting the hotels, flights, and rental cars at the best prices. They are responsible for processing employee travel expenses and providing corporate discounts with collaboration with travel vendors. A travel coordinator works for a single organization and oversees the travel arrangements such as arranging transportation and lodging. They are also responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses of employees in hotel bookings or fare charges.
Tour Guide: A tour guide or travel guide accompanies tourists throughout their journey and provides accurate information about the history, culture, traditions of the historical sites, museum, religious heritage cities, or other places.
Travel Agent: A travel agent is responsible for planning and arranging travel for his or her clients as per their requirements and budget. Hotels and resorts employ travel agents to sell their tour packages.
Transport Officer: The state government or local transport body appoints the transport officer. A transport officer is responsible for the maintenance of vehicles. He oversees the vehicle establishment programmes and certifies ground transportation.
Travel counselor: A travel counselor provides consultation to the customers or clients who are planning to travel. A travel counselor guides their clients on various issues arising while traveling and ensures the best travel deals for their clients.
Travel executive: A tour or travel executive’s work responsibility involves managing various aspects of travel such as transportation, hotel bookings, flight bookings, essential information about the destination, and other services.
Tourism Manager: A tourism manager is responsible for promoting tourism in his or her region through various strategies and campaigns. Tourists from various cultures and traditions come to visit. A tourist manager is responsible for providing assistance to such tourists.
Tour Operator: A tour operator spends hours on researching hotels, destinations, airlines and other things. He or she designs the whole tour that involves arranging travel and hotel accommodations for a safe stay. A tour operator is employed by travel companies that operate tours for domestic and international client bases. A tour operator either sells the tour packages designed by himself or herself or uses the services of travel agents to sell them.
Travel Agent Jobs and Salaries
- Average Salary 30000
- Junior Level Salary 12000
- Senior Level Salary 58000
Travel coordinators use their knowledge of travel destinations, airlines, hotels, routes and other related information to advise the appropriate tour packages to clients. They keep in mind clients' schedules, interests, and budget and suggest to them the best options of tour packages, vacation destinations as per their requirements. They make travel arrangements for their clients that include domestic and international transportation and lodging arrangements.
A travel coordinator with an experience of less than one year may expect up to Rs. eighty-four thousand to Rs. one lakh eighty thousand per annum. Senior-level travel coordinators would get more than seven lakh per annum.
- Average Salary 25000
- Junior Level Salary 15000
- Senior Level Salary 150000
A tour operator uses their knowledge in planning the travel arrangements and tour packages. A tour operator designs the tour packages and makes travel arrangements as described in the tour packages. They sell tour packages designed by themselves. They provide all the travel services such as tour guides, accommodation, and rented cars.
A travel operator with an experience of less than one year may expect up to a yearly salary of Rs. one lakh eighty thousand to Rs. one lakh ninety-two thousand per annum. A senior-level tour operator would get more than nineteen lakh per annum.
What is the job outlook for Travel Agent?
According to the article published in Forbes, the travel and tourism sector was the most expanding sector in 2018. All the other economic sectors were after the tour and travel sector in growth. It recorded the contribution of 8.8 million dollars in the world's combined economic GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in 2017. 319 million jobs were alone in the travel and tourism sector in 2017. Now, the travel industry has been affected by the global pandemic Covid-19. It is estimated that it will result in a declining number of jobs in the tourism and travel industry. Nowadays travelers rely on the internet to reserve airlines, buses, cars, and hotel rooms. This has resulted in suppressing the need for travel agents.
It is also problematic sometimes to book tickets or hotels directly through the websites. Therefore, customers still require the need for a travel agent for fast bookings and ensuring easy accommodation. As travel agents are experienced professionals and are aware of the thugs in the travel industry. Travel agents use their experience to recommend the various options and provide a filter through the options to choose the best that suits the clients as per their requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions for Travel Agent
Que. Is there any formal training required to work as a travel agent?Ans.
No, there is not any requirement for formal training to work as a travel agent. But somehow, formal training helps to learn the skills of a travel agent and it provides a vast knowledge about the travel industry.
Que. What is the difference between a corporate travel agent and a leisure travel agent?Ans.
A corporate travel agent plans and arranges travel for the employees of an organization for the purpose of business trips, meetings with clients, and attending conferences. While a leisure travel agent is responsible for arranging travel for leisure vacations and adventurous trips. A leisure travel agent plans and arranges travel for a specific group or individual.
Que. What is the average salary of a travel agent?Ans.
The average salary of a travel agent is Rs.291,223 per annum in India, according to payscale.
Que. Is a license required for a travel agent career?Ans.
Yes, a license is required for a travel agent career. A license is provided by the ministry of tourism, Govt.of India for a period of five years. After the completion of 5 years, it is required to be renewed for the next five years.
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