Do you love nothing more than exploring faraway countries, coming up with the most detailed travel itineraries and finding the best deals on trips around the world? Then working as a Travel Agent might seem like the dream job for you. But don’t expect to be testing 5-star luxury hotels on Caribbean beaches day in and day out.
There’s a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to make sure clients can enjoy the best holiday possible, whether on a short weekend city stint or a month-long adventure. In this article, we take a look at what a day in the life of a Travel Agent really looks like and what skills are needed to succeed.
Your daily outlook
According to Job Outlook, there are over 23,800 Australians working as Travel Agents (referred to as Tourism and Travel Advisors on Job Outlook). It is a medium-sized occupation with a predicted growth of around 12,000 job openings over the next 5 years. While growth isn’t predicted to be huge, a steady increase in opportunities can be assumed.
As a Travel Agent, you’ll earn around $1,080 per week, compared to the all jobs average of $1,230. While wages are below the national average, there are opportunities to increase your salary with experience.
You can expect to work an average of 39 hours per week, just below the 40 hour per week overall job average. Around a quarter of travel agents also work part-time.
The good news is, this is a job you can enter and enjoy at any age, with the average person being 37 years old. It’s also worth noting that nearly 80% of Travel Agents in Australia are women.
Vacancies can be found all across Australia, with the majority in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. While most positions are office-based, call centre positions are also available.
As a travel agent, you will perform a range of day-to-day tasks that will ensure your clients get the best service and a travel itinerary customised to their needs. Generally, tasks include:
- Communicating with your clients to determine their
requirements for travel and accommodation as well as any special interests that
could influence their itinerary.
- Assessing the best travel routes, itineraries and
activities based on budget and personal preferences.
- Arranging all travel, tour and accommodation bookings
for your clients and notifying them of travel dates, updates as well as luggage
allowances, visa requirements and any medical requirements, such as
- Handling payment for your clients and issuing all
relevant travel documents in good time before their trip.
- Researching and suggesting the best travel insurance
options as well as local currencies and payment options abroad, including
credit cards, cash and traveller’s cheques.
- Providing useful and customised information on local
attractions, tours, customs, traditions and language barriers.
- Some travel agents even specialise in certain regions internationally or nationally and become experts on those regions.
The main demands of the job that you should be comfortable with are being service-oriented, understanding your customers’ needs, and providing them with great support throughout the booking and travel process. You’ll also need to be comfortable with sales and marketing skills, including product presentation, various marketing strategies and sales control systems. Being comfortable interacting with computers and performing in-depth research is a must, and you’ll have to learn the ins and outs of various booking and payment systems. Training will equip you with these skills and prepare you for the role.
Will you be happy at work?
Working in the travel industry can be very demanding, but equally rewarding for people who enjoy creating ambitious and interesting itineraries to help their clients have the best possible travel experience. No two days are ever the same and you’ll often be required to take quick action if one of your clients is having an emergency abroad.
If you enjoy providing the best service and sourcing great deals and activities for others, then this role could be a great fit for you. The role is best suited to people who have strong interpersonal skills, are good at active listening and are very service-oriented. A genuine interest in travel and geography is of course necessary to enjoy this job to the full.
To begin your training towards a career as a Travel Agent, you can start with our exciting SIT30216 Certificate III in Travel. Gain the skills you need to prepare for a career as a Travel Agent in the domestic or international travel industries and create memorable trips for your future clients.