Travel Agent

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Travel Agent, or Travel Manager, is responsible for helping individuals and businesses plan work and personal travel. Their duties include advising clients on travel destinations, creating itineraries and booking plane travel and hotel accommodations

 

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Travel Agent duties and responsibilities

Travel Agents are responsible for creating and booking travel itineraries for clients. The most successful Travel Agents are able to use networking and marketing to establish connections with their clients. Some general responsibilities could include:

  • Offer advice to clients on destinations.
  • Follow up with clients about travel plans and make adjustments as needed, including coordinating with the client’s point of contact as the event approaches.
  • Research fare and schedule information.
  • Describe trips to clients and give details on any documents required, such as passports or visas.
  • Make alternative arrangements if changes arise before or during the trip.
  • Provide any and all relevant information, brochures and publications (guides, local customs, maps, regulations, events) to travelers.

 

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What does a Travel Agent do?

Travel Agents are typically employed by travel agencies or large-scale resorts or other travel destinations. Depending on the specifics of their employment, they might perform a number of different tasks in their job, including researching travel options, providing choices to clients and ensuring their clients have everything they need before and during their trip. Some work independently, while others work as part of a team.

 

Travel Agent skills and qualifications

Travel Agents must be highly organized and personable to make connections with clients and complete bookings for multiple clients per day. Examples of other skills for Travel Agents include:

  • Familiarity with domestic and foreign travel destinations
  • Working knowledge of HR functions and planning management
  • Time management skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Organization skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Communication skills

 

Travel Agent salary expectations

The average salary of a Travel Agent is $44,953 per year. This figure may vary by location and experience. Travel Agents typically earn an average of $150 in tips per day. Common benefits of the position include the ability to work remotely or at home, 401(k) matching and paid time off.

 

Travel Agent education and training requirements

Most travel agencies require the equivalent of a high school diploma. However, many employers prefer a more advanced level of education, such as an associate or bachelor’s degree, in a hospitality, business or related field. Competitive applicants may have a certification through The Travel Institute. Designations through this organization include Certified Travel Associate (CTA), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE).

 

Travel Agent experience requirements

Travel Agents may visit destinations to get firsthand experience and make more insightful recommendations. Many Travel Agents work with the global distribution system (GDS) and many agencies request prior knowledge or experience with this system. It may be helpful to have experience through a prior customer service or hospitality position.

 

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Frequently asked questions about Travel Agents

 

What makes a good Travel Agent?

Travel Agents must have certain skills and abilities to perform their jobs well. Excellent Travel Agents tend to have a specific set of abilities and attributes that make them exceptional in their role. Among the necessary qualities are communication, teamwork and problem-solving. 

Travel Agents must communicate with both their clients and other travel professionals like hotel and airline staff. They also must be able to foster positive working relationships with a number of disparate professionals to create a cohesive plan for their clients. Finally, problem-solving both in the initial trip planning phase and in the case of last-minute travel changes is vital to ensure the Travel Agent’s clients get safely to their destinations. 

 

What's the difference between a Travel Agent and a Cruise Travel Agent?

In many cases, Travel Agents and Cruise Travel Agents can and do perform many of the same tasks and duties. Usually, however, Travel Agents offer a wider range of travel services than Cruise Travel Agents do. They might organize plane, train, car or cruise travel, while in most cases, Cruise Travel Agents exclusively book cruises and the accompanying logistics, like flights or hotel stays, for their clients. 

 

What are the daily duties of a Travel Agent?

Travel Agents might perform a number of different tasks throughout their workday. Typical duties include answering phone calls and emails from interested clients to provide preliminary travel information, speaking with representatives from airlines, hotels and other travel related businesses to book packages for their clients and creating detailed travel itineraries for their clients. Besides these responsibilities, most Travel Agents also help clients who face last-minute changes in their travel plans rearrange their flights or hotel stays as needed to ensure they’re not stuck at an airport or miss an important event. 

 

Do Travel Agents have different responsibilities in different industries?

The daily tasks and duties of a Travel Agent are often very similar regardless of what industry they’re in. However, the employer they work for and the clients they serve can differ tremendously. For example, some Travel Agents work for themselves or for dedicated travel agencies that serve individuals and businesses as needed. They might plan all kinds of travel, including family vacations and large group business events. Some businesses, particularly those who employ many employees who regularly travel for work, might have an in-house travel agent who manages all the company’s business travel and does not manage any other clients. 

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