Is It Still Possible Or Wise To Have A Career As A Travel Agent?

Written by on October 22, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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Back in the day, when travel shops were in every mall in every town, being a travel agent seemed like a pretty secure career. It was also an appealing career, as it gave people a chance to earn good commission, and also to travel, given that travel consultants were often sent to sample the places they are selling to their customers.

It had a good career path where you could move your way up into supervisory roles, and was, all in all, a pretty pleasant job.

However, as the internet took over the way most people make all of their vacation and travel plans, the travel shops began to disappear, and to the untrained eye it seemed that the travel agent profession was either dying or dead.

So if you think this would have been the perfect career for you, but maybe you came along a decade too late, is there any way you can still do something similar and have a reasonable amount of professional security?

Modern Travel Consultants

In actual fact, there are still plenty of people working as travel consultants and agents, however the environment they work in and the way they sell their services is now quite different.

A travel consultant these days will normally be a specialist in a given niche (for example extreme sports and adventure travel, cruises, safaris or skiing), a given region (for example Australia, the South Pacific or the Caribbean), or in something else like business travel, or student travel.

They usually work in an office rather than a shop where they meet their clients in person, and do a lot of their business over the phone.

They build relationships with airlines, resorts and hotel chains as well as other companies related to travel (for example insurers, or companies who arrange excursions or sports activities at destinations), and are able to therefore plan and book trips for their clients very easily, taking a lot of the hassle out of planning any kind of travel.

So Is This a Good Career Choice?

As long as people love to travel or need to for business, there will be a role for someone who can help make this easier for them. However, getting a job in this field may now be vastly more competitive than it was in the past when travel agencies were prevalent.

Look out for jobs with business travel companies or niche travel consultants that relate to an area you know about, and you will have an idea of what sort of skills and qualifications a given company you may want to work for is looking for.

In most cases you will need some kind of sales background, good customer service skills, and a passion for helping people. Further down the line when you have a lot of experience and connections, you may also decide to work as an independent travel consultant and market your own services.

If travel is your passion and you want to work in a field where you help other people organize their own trips, then there is still a strong chance you can start a career as a travel agent.

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Jack Foster, the author of this article, works with, Teplis Travel, leading providers of corporate travel services. An avid traveler, Jack loves visiting new places and appreciating the culture and art associated with the place.

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