Successful travel agents are visionaries with great organisational skills and people skills. Below is a list you can use to check whether you have what it takes to become a successful travel agent:
1 – They are highly organised
Travel agents are great planners. For them, juggling calls, bookings, and communication is an everyday balancing act. Their responsibilities include arranging flights, processing payments, securing accommodation, negotiating deals, sending tickets, and advising clients. Needless to say, travel agents must be able to multitask.
2 – They have vision
Not only do travel agents have to be administrative gurus, they also have to be visionaries. Planning a phenomenal vacation requires an inspired mind. A travel agent should take the time to understand what the client wants from his or her trip and then lay down the foundation for an unforgettable experience. Envisioning your client’s desired experience is integral to planning it well.
3 – They have great people skills
Successful travel agents have excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire and influence people. A big part of the job includes meeting many different, interesting people, which requires versatility. This will mean that your job never becomes monotonous. This also means that you will need a measure of tolerance and the ability to deal with the unrealistic expectations of certain clients. Ultimately, travel agents are talented salespeople, who can find their clients the best value for their money, and do so with enthusiasm.
4 – They are self-starters
The travel agents who really thrive in the industry are self-motivated with lots of drive. As a travel agent, you have the opportunity to become an expert in your field by finding a niche market in which you can provide greater value to a particular client base.
If you want to be an independent travel agent and start your own business, you need to find your niche. A niche can be a smaller market that you’re interested in or have substantial experience in, for example: destination weddings in Greece. As an experienced, independent travel agent, you can take your idea online, offer your own packages, and stand out in a competitive industry. In this environment, you will need to focus on your networking skills and develop a competitive marketing strategy.
5 – They are internet savvy
Travel agents compete with limitless online travel resources and information, so it’s best for them to stay on top of what’s happening online. When you’re working within an agency, most of your clients will already have researched the places they want to visit and will have scoured the travel and accommodation options. Knowing what those places and options are beforehand will immediately give you an edge. If you’re not working for a travel agency, then this is even more important.
As an independent travel agent, you will have to be practiced and adept online, researching travel options, staying abreast of current deals, using social media, networking and promoting yourself consistently, and honing your online presence while staying aware of your competitors in the industry.
6 – They are natural explorers
An innate sense of adventure is vital to this job. Travel agents love to explore the world, both physically and online. With an office job, of course, travel opportunities are limited and affordability is an issue, but travel agents know pretty much immediately when the good deals become available, and they can take full advantage of this knowledge for themselves. Independent travel agents, especially, should try to explore as much of the world as they can. Planning a trip to a place you’ve experienced first-hand will add authenticity and value to your service.
If you see these characteristics in yourself and you think you have what it takes to be a successful travel agent, you might be interested in one of our Tourism and Hospitality courses, which you can complete on a part-time basis from home.