How to become a travel agent
What is a travel agent?
A travel agent collaborates with airlines, cruise lines and other holiday and transportation companies to entirely plan and organise holidays for customers. This includes booking flights, taxi’s and other transport, securing hotel rooms, booking spaces on city tours and everything in-between.
If you’re someone who loves to ensure people have great holidays no matter where in Australia or the world they’re going, then becoming a travel agent is certainly a career path to look into.
What does a travel agent do?
The most seamless and efficient way for you to become a travel agent is to enrol yourself in a university or TAFE course on travel and tourism. This will ensure you know all of the basics of working in tourism and shows your future potential employers that you are not only serious about your role but are capable of doing it.
The typical daily tasks of a travel agent are to collaborate with their clients about their upcoming holidays and make suggestions on the best hotels to stay in, the most efficient way to travel to their planned destination and to ensure all bookings for flights, hotels, tours, transportation and more, are all complete and ready.
Agents normally work directly with airlines, cruise lines, resorts and car rental companies to ensure that everything is secured and booked directly; rather than through a website.
There are additional tasks that agents do, which are paramount to their clients having a safe, stress-free and relaxing holiday. These tasks are often focused on safety and current events at the destination as well as what documentation is required to enter foreign countries.
Book rooms, tours and transport for clients
Develop travel planners
Ensure all international travel requires are met
Directly contact resorts and transport companies
Advise on destinations to visit
Updating clients on changes
What are the educational requirements?
Although there aren’t normally bachelors degrees required for travel agents, the typical education degrees held by travel agents are an associate and certificate degrees.
There are a few degrees we would recommend that prospective travel agents undertake, simply to make the employment process a little more seamless and to give insight on the industry, its requirements and workloads.
Great communication skills
Good web navigation and IT skills
Great planning and organisation skills
Courses recommended include:
Certificate III in Travel
Diploma of Business (Tourism Management)
Bachelor of Business (Tourism Management)
Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management
Diploma in Modern Languages
Bachelor of Business (Hospitality & Tourism Management)
Employment and outlook
Completing a course in tourism and hospitality boosts your resume and opens up a number of doors in the business and tourism industries. This gives graduates and certificate holders a number of pathways to go down from event management and cruise consultancy.
Conglomerates like Flight Centre Travel Group have a number of subsidiaries based all around the world, offering job placements and transfers for their employees allowing them to work in almost any country on the planet. This is great for those who want to see the world and love new experiences, but also want to work in travel.
There are a number of major national and international travel agencies where prospective agents can apply for jobs, though there are a number of other travel agency based jobs that are not as well known.
Average salaries and hourly wages of travel agents differ greatly depending on your location, though the typical annual salary is roughly $50,600. Another factor that increases your employability and earning in travel agencies is studying a Travel & Tourism course. Both online and offline courses greatly increase employability and job prospects.
The travel an tourism industry also employs over 55,000 people in Australia and has roughly 5,300 openings as of 2018.
Career Outcomes Include
Tour Operations Manager
Hotel Front Office Attendant
Hotel Service Supervisor
Start Your Career
You can enter the tourism and travel agency fields without a degree or any study in the area, and begin at an entry-level position and become trained on the job and build up your skills and proficiency in the area.
If you’re serious about your career in travel and holiday planning or want to open and develop your very own business, you can extend your knowledge by undertaking a bachelor or certificate degree in tourism and hospitality. This will make your resume and job applications glow and improve your earnings.
Author: Emily Burgess
Bio: Emily is a senior content writer with CourseGuru.com.au. She is a recent University graduate and enjoys writing about educational and career orientated topics.