Did you know that becoming a travel agent in the US can help you to get paid for exploring the world? Well, if you’re a travel freak who wanted to start a travel company of your own, this guide can get everything sorted for you. You need not roam around with your camera to travel the world, rather gather discounts and get everything at a legit price. That is, by making travel deals for the people, gain enough rewards to fulfill your dreams of the world tour. So, don’t day-dream, get your travel bucket-list sorted. Becoming an agent in any career field gives you good insight into the industry. If you love guiding people to follow a path or a destination, you can also read our blog on:-
Who is a Travel Agent?
A travel agent is a person who works for a travel agency. They sell out holiday packages, airline ticket bookings, and travel insurance. Also, they give sightseeing tours to potential customers. Becoming a travel agent makes them mediators between customers and suppliers. The connection is at hotels, airlines, buses, railways, car rentals, travel insurers, and cruise liners.
When people use the services of a travel agency, they will get products at a discounted price. The discount that they receive is causing travel agencies to have tie-ups with most suppliers.
What are the Roles and Duties of a Travel Agent?
In a travel agency, there are usually two separate departments to take care of – national and international. The two departments are for business cum holiday travel or plan holiday travel. Hence, a travel agent could be working at either of these departments.
Some travel agent’s main job would be to generate sales for the travel agency by approaching major or small companies to pitch in their products. Other ones are becoming a travel agent work as business development professionals who only look at tying up with airlines and hotels. Then their prime task is to get discounted prices for their customers, which, in a way, generate sales for the suppliers.
Apart from sales professionals, a travel agent will be around in office sitting behind a desk and doing his/her job. Their job involves a lot of paperwork related to major zones of the travel industry. That is holiday packages, routes and locations info, client info, flight bookings, and insurances. And, travel agents have to keep an eye on the arrival and departure timings of flights too.
When a customer walks in looking for travel advice, a travel agent must assist and guide them through a wide spectrum of choices. Travel agents must-have info on educating their customers. The topics on which they can give info includes climate conditions, cultures, native languages, pricing, customs, etc. The tools that travel agents use to gain knowledge about the basics of tour guides is by using guide books and the internet.
Travel agents visit hotels, motels, resorts, spas, restaurants to examine and test them based on their service. After their evaluation, the rate these places on the scale of one to five stars (where one star represents bad, and five stars represent good). On becoming a travel agent, they also take the help of their colleagues or customers who have stayed at these places before to give their feedback.
Also, travel agents spend a lot of time on calls and internet browsing and researching information and updating the same on their files. The information includes a recent change in hotel tariffs, flight timings, pricing, and travel laws. They’re responsible for the situations at the tourist destinations because they are liable if tourists face any issue.
If a travel agent is self-employed, then they work for more than 40 hours a week, which is higher than working for a travel agency.
Why Becoming a Travel Agent is a Good Choice?
To become a travel agent is an excellent choice anyone can make as this industry is a billion-dollar industry, or it could be more. The hospitality industry is the number one industry in the whole world that is growing faster than the economy. The reason for this rapid growth is the increase of baby boomers (people born in the 1950s). They are at retirement age, and these baby boomers wish to travel with the retirement money they get. The industry is growing, but the salaries of travel agents aren’t. But, the good news is that you get a lot of discounts and other benefits when you’re on your vacation or cruise. Isn’t this good enough for you to stick to your wish of becoming a travel agent?
Educational Qualifications to Become a Travel Agent
There is no formal education to be a travel agent. Yet, you do need some basic knowledge on how to become a travel agent. Few travel agencies hire people who have basic training in travel and tourism.
Still, there are bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that offer a thorough knowledge of travel and tourism. It also helps if you plan to work as a self-employed person, running your own travel business.
The topics covered in these degree programs include:-
Geography of the world
Different cultures and customs
Travel agency management
Promotion and marketing strategies
Travel agency operations.
You do not need any license to work as a travel agent; but, you would need a license to open a home-based travel agency business.
How Much do Travel Agents Make? (Average Salary)
If you are working on your own in the comfort of your home, you can make anything starting from $108,450 to $635,195 per year. Travel agents working for a travel agency will earn approximately $30,000 to $45,000 per year.
This is the reason why most experts advice prospective travel agents to gain some hands-on experience from a travel agency. Then, they leave and start their own business in travel and tourism, which will get them more income.