Travel Agents help individuals, groups, and business travelers plan and organize their travel schedules, from purchasing tour packages to booking flights and hotels. They must be familiar with the process and technicalities of flights and hotel reservations in order to provide the necessary information to their customers in a timely manner. Most Travel Agents work in travel agencies, although many practice their profession individually as freelancers and get paid a percentage of what they sell.
Most travel agencies are specialized in certain destinations and types of travelers. Some agencies only work for business travelers and may have special arrangements with some hotels and airlines (e.g. special booking fees), while some others specialize in leisure or adventure travel and work with clients looking for a vacation.
In many English-speaking countries, the term “Travel Agent” can be used interchangeably with “Travel Consultant” or “Travel Counsellor.”
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Travel Agents are required to complete.
- Providing clients with information about their trip (e.g. flight schedules and accommodation options, transportation, and all related costs), as well as general information about their destinations (e.g. most popular attractions, local customs and languages, and safety information):
- Providing advice to travelers regarding passports, visas, or currency exchange.
- Advising their clients on the best options for their trips:
- Recommending hotels;
- offering transportation options; and
- providing general advice about the destination.
- Planning and organizing vacation trips for individuals, families, or groups, overseeing all details including flights, hotels or accommodations, means of transportation, and activities:
- Using online reservation systems to promptly book transportation and accommodation for their clients.
- Selling travel and vacation packages to their clients:
- Designing packages to be sold to clients or helping clients design their own packages; and
- promoting packages designed by hotels, resorts, and cruise lines.
- Keeping up-to-date with the most popular vacation destinations available:
- Researching new and popular destinations.
- Creating and maintaining a profile of their clients in order to achieve a better service:
- Keeping track of clients’ personal information, travel history and preferences, as well as special needs and requests.
- Managing administrative operations:
- Requesting and managing payments from clients;
- paying for flights, hotels, and transportation; and
- providing a detailed list of costs to their clients, along with all corresponding receipts.
- Staying alert and being able to solve any inconvenience the travelers may come across, such as missed flights or misplacing hotel reservations.
- Being aware of the importance of a holiday’s insurance and being able to sell one.
- Receiving and answering phone calls and emails from clients, providing advice, and addressing their inquiries and complaints when necessary.
- Greeting and advising clients that walk into the agency.
- Checking availability and prices of flights and hotels, as well as travel packages.
- Booking flights, hotels, or travel packages.
- Checking for promotions or special offers.
- Promoting destinations, airlines, hotels, and travel packages.
- Being aware of upcoming promotions or offers.
- Selling holiday’s insurance.
The average Travel Agent salary is $33,513 per year or $17 per hour. This is the same as the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $23,000 while most experienced workers make up to $47,000. These results are based on 59 salaries extracted from job descriptions.