Career of travel agent is suitable for those candidates who love to travel different place and have sharp-eye to look details of environment. At the same time it is difficult job and candidate must have thorough knowledge of the industry and logistical skills. Travel agents give a valuable service to people intending to travel by making all the required travel arrangements on request of the client, using the information and facilities available to professional travel agents, locally and worldwide.
Due to busy schedule, many visitors do not spent time or involved in dealing with changing airline schedules, different fares, finding packages, etc, and so they appoint travel agents to arrange all facilities for them. The tourism industry is growing at rapid rate and there are countless of job opportunities available for hard working and enthusiastic people. The work of travel agent is quite challenging. Travel agents work for both individual tourists and big businesses. In this area, they have to judge the needs of their client, look at the possibilities, and make schedules for them.
Travel agents may also work for different of clients as well including cruise lines, resorts, hotels, or travel groups. Travel agent's task consists of consulting clients on different travel destinations, planning for rental cars, planes, places to eat, and events like tours or places to see. They also assist clients plan for weather conditions, recreational activities, or travel insurance. These agents also arrange visas and passports, and advise on customs guidelines, vaccinations, and money exchange for clients who plan to travel other country.
In order to get success in job, travel agents have to collect information from a various sources such books, travel journals, and on the internet. They must personally visit destinations themselves to assess activities and the quality of hotels and resorts so they can provide correct, personal recommendations. They have to spend much time in promoting and advertising. To advertise, travel agencies use telephones, the postal service, and the internet. Travel agents give presentations to travel groups, make displays at trade shows, or work with businesses, where they might propose company vacations.
These activities promote their business. Travel agencies hire specialist who have mastery over one area of travel, such as business or tourism, or in a geographic area, like Europe or Asia. Working place of travel agents is usually casual offices. They keep busy in consulting clients, contacting airlines, making reservations at hotels, keeping up with travel restrictions, and working at the computer. In peak times, workload increases such as holidays and vacation. They have to work for long hours. Due to the great facility of the internet and as telecommunications advance, travel agents gather valuable information at home and guide tourists according to their requirements. Travel career training courses include ticketing, reservations, cruises, charters, tourism, information about the most desirable destinations, and other important travel related topics.
Intelligent agents keep in mind each client's fondness, budget and requirements when making schedule of client's journey. Their major responsibilities are to provide information and advice to clients on customs regulations, passports, visas, currency regulations and tourist attractions, the compiling of itineraries, the booking of flights, tours, accommodation, car rental and general administration associated with such tasks.
When travel agents make these arrangements, they must check with tariff schedules such as those that are published by the International Air Travel Association.
To become a travel agent, candidate requires at least a high school diploma or equivalent. They mostly work in computers to collect latest information therefore formal training of computers is must in present scenario. Today various courses are available for especially for travel agents. Some colleges and universities provide bachelor's degrees in travel hospitality. Other bachelor's degrees can lead to career in the travel industry as well, like foreign language, geography, communications, computer science, or history. Candidates also have to develop good business skills like knowledge of finance or management which can be useful particularly for those people who wishes administrative positions or starting their own business. Advanced schooling, such as an associate's or bachelor's degree, is very important to stay in this industry and to get top position.
1) Travel agent training centre, Inc, Charlotte, North Carolina
2) Travel Agent Training Program, Canyon College, 111 Poplar Street Caldwell, Idaho 83605. tel: 208-455-0010. fax: 208-455-0040. www.canyoncollege.edu
1) PG Diploma in Tourism Management Andhra University, School of Correspondence Education, Vishakapatnam Andhra Pradesh
2) BSc. Travel and Tourism Nalanda College, Biharsharif,, Magadh University, Bodh Gaya
3) PG Diploma in Tourism Management Ravi Shankar University, Raipur Chattisgarh
4) Certificate Course in Cargo/Courier Management Trade Wings Institute of Management, K-43, Connaught Place (Opposite Plaza Cinema), New Delhi
5) Course in Computer Application in Tourism and Travel Industry Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, 9, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi Delhi Graduation 2 months
6) Course on Computerized Reservation System Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, 9, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi Delhi Graduation 3 months
7) Course in Air Travel, Fares and Ticketing Indian Institute of Management, 9, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi Delhi Graduation 1 month
8) Course in Air Travel, Fares and Ticketing Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, 9, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi Delhi Graduation 3 months
9) Course on Airlines, Travel Agency and Tour Operation Management Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, 9, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi Delhi Graduation 1 month (Saturday and Sunday, 2 pm-5 pm )
10) Courses in Spanish , Japanese, French and Russian Languages Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, 9, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi Delhi Graduation 2 months
11) Diploma in Air Hostess, Filght Steward and Personality Grooming Sita Academy, M-135, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110001 Delhi Class XII 3 months
12) Degree in Airlines, Tourism andTravel Management with Marketing and Ticketing Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Mehta Sadan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi-110001 Delhi Class XII/Graduation with good command over English (preference to graduates and working people) 5 months
13) Diploma in Cargo (Based on IATA/FIATA) Sita Academy, M-135, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110001 Delhi Class XII 3 months
14) Diploma in Cargo/Courier Management Trade Wings Institute of Management, K-43, Connaught Place (Opposite Plaza Cinema), New Delhi Delhi Class XII with good command over English 6.5 months
15) Diploma in CRS (Amadeus) Sita Academy, M-135, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110001 Delhi Class XII 4 weeks
16) Diploma in Domestic + International Ticketing and CRS (Amadeus) Sita Academy, M-135, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110001 Delhi Class XII 5 months
17) Diploma in International Airlines and Travel Management with Tourism and Computers Trade Wings Institute of Management, K-43, Connaught Place (Opposite Plaza Cinema), New Delhi Delhi Class XII 3 years
18) Diploma in International Airlines and Travel Management with Tourism Trade Wings Institute of Management, B-2, Avg Bhavan, M-3, Connaught Place, Middle Circle, New Delhi Delhi Class XII with good command over English 7.5 months
19) PG Diploma in Management of Issues in Tourism and Travel Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi Delhi Graduation 1 year
20) PG Diploma in Tourism Management Delhi University, New Delhi Delhi Graduation 1 year
21) PG Diploma in Tourism Management YWCA, Jaisingh Road, New Delhi Delhi Graduation Short-term
22) PG Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management South Delhi Polytechnic for Women, Behind Lady Shri Ram College, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi
23) PG Diploma in Tourism Management Goa University, Goa
24) PG Diploma in Tourism Management Kota Open University, Kota Gujarat
25) MTA Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra Haryana
26) PG Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management Himachal University, Shimla Himachal Pradesh
27) MTA Christ College, Bangalore University, Bangalore Karnataka
To become travel agent, candidate must have some personal characteristics. First of all, they must be efficient, systematic and detail-oriented to plan out every aspect of a client's program. Another attribute needed to become successful travel agent is that they must be tolerant and have an ability to do research to find the best ticket, activity, or itinerary for their client. Though travel agents spend a lot of their time dealing with clients so good communication skills is highly important to convince clients and increase their business. Their language must be clear and concise both verbally and in writing, have good sales skills and are able to gain the belief of their client. Travel agents may start their career as reservation clerks or receptionists. As they get experience and competence, they can be a successful a travel agent. In huge agencies, these experienced travel agents may advance to management positions. Many travel agents make their own business. But candidate must gain experience from reputed agencies before setting up own business.
To start their own business, these travel agents have to be officially approved by the suitable agencies for airlines, shipping lines, hotel networks, etc, such as the Airlines Reporting Corporation and the International Airlines Travel Agency Network. Approval requires an agency that is solvent and has an experienced travel agent or manager in the staff. Travel agents can be successful if they are serious in this profession. Many people have rigid thoughts that this field does not earn bread and butter for their family. This is a wrong concept. Candidates have to make efforts to get good position in the agencies. This field is very lucrative in India especially during season when most of the visitors come to enjoy their vacation.