Travel Agents

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Also known as:  Auto Travel Counselor, Certified Corporate Travel Executive, Certified Travel Counselor, Corporate Travel Expert, Travel Agent, Travel Consultant, Travel Counselor, Travel Service Consultant

ABOUT TRAVEL AGENT CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Whether for business or pleasure, most people rely on travel agents to make their travel arrangements. Travel agents use printed and computer-based sources to advise their customers, book trips and issue tickets. For business travelers, the agent needs to coordinate the customer's schedule as well a ...
s sell airline tickets, lodging and car rentals. In vacation travel sales, they must often balance client dreams with a real budget.

Agents may have to master many kinds of information, such as international geography; specialty areas like ecotourism, visa regulations, and inoculation rules. Agents must have good interview, telephone, computer and sales skills. Agencies need experienced help but may take applicants who have college or vocational courses, or high school graduates who have traveled widely.

Entry-level salaries are low but rise with a few years' experience. After six months on the job, most agencies allow their employees to take educational "familiarization trips," or even pay for one or more each year. These low-cost working trips enable agents to experience hotels, restaurants, and sightseeing first-hand. For someone who loves travel, the opportunities to see the world as a travel agent are fantastic.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Plan and sell transportation and accommodations for travel agency customers. Determine destination, modes of transportation, travel dates, costs, and accommodations required. May also describe, plan, and arrange itineraries and sell tour packages. May assist in resolving clients' travel problems.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Plan, describe, arrange, and sell itinerary tour packages and promotional travel incentives offered by various travel carriers.
Compute cost of travel and accommodations, using calculator, computer, carrier tariff books, and hotel rate books, or quote package tour's costs.
Provide customer with brochures and publications containing travel information, such as local customs, points of interest, or foreign country regulations.
Print or request transportation carrier tickets, using computer printer system or system link to travel carrier.
Converse with customer to determine destination, mode of transportation, travel dates, financial considerations, and accommodations required.
Collect payment for transportation and accommodations from customer.
Book transportation and hotel reservations, using computer terminal or telephone.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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