A travel agent assists individuals or groups of persons in planning and booking travel. This can include facilitating ticket purchases for transportation, reserving accommodations, and renting cars. Travel agents can also assist people in booking vacation packages, tours, and visits to specific locations of interest. Agents typically make money by earning commissions for booking these arrangements from the providers themselves.
One of the main tools at a travel agent's disposal is permissions that allow them to access in real-time variable data. Agents typically work with individuals to help design custom trips, which may include multiple destinations, transportation modes, and sightseeing plans. The agent may also be able to recommend packaged tours that help consumers in this planning stage. While the career field of a travel agent has been somewhat compromised by the advent of self-booking websites, there are still many travel agents who do very well. Agents must be flexible and able to offer a variety of concierge services. By providing this customer services which travel websites cannot, an agent can still flourish.
Beyond this aptitude for customer service, general travel knowledge, and computer skills, there are a few formal education requirements for this job. Therefore, programs in vocational schools and community colleges related to the career do exist and may be helpful.
Travel Agent Tasks
Respond to incoming requests and conduct research on travel planning and itinerary customization.
Draft service contracts for group travel.
Build rapport with individual customers to secure new clients and maintain a consistent customer base.
Provide counseling and support for customer requests, and review documents for accuracy.