Travel consultants (also known as travel agents) are in charge of planning and booking travel and/or holiday arrangements on behalf of corporate or individual clients. The typical duties of a travel consultant involve researching flights, accommodation options, holiday packages, and activities available in tourist destinations, putting together promotional materials, taking part in marketing tasks, providing advice on a variety of travel-related issues, and handling enquiries and complaints. In many cases, travel consultants are required to liaise with airline representatives, hoteliers, and other professionals who work in the leisure and hospitality industry. Travel consultants must have a pleasant demeanour, impeccable customer service skills, excellent verbal communication skills, and must be able to demonstrate commercial awareness. Being able to communicate in a foreign language and having first-hand knowledge of tourist destinations are definite advantages. Travel consultants are expected to be familiar with industry-specific software, such as Amadeus or Dolphin. Jobs in this industry are available on full and part-time basis and may involve weekend work.
Travel Industry Job Education Requirements
Many travel consultants enter the profession without relevant qualifications and train on the job. In such cases, previous experience in customer service roles is advantageous. Useful qualifications include HNDs or NVQs in marketing, hotel management, languages, and tourism. University graduates can access in-company graduate schemes, and those with a degree in an unrelated field can learn the basics about the travel industry by taking level 1 and 2 courses in travel and tourism.
Travel Job Market
Recent surveys show that the travel industry has been affected by the economic recession, which has changed the spending habits of many consumers. However, the travel job market has proven to be resilient. In addition to travel consultant roles, individuals interested in the travel industry can explore vacancies like travel operations director and business travel consultant. Jobs in sustainable tourism are on the rise too.
Travel Consultant Job Salaries
Studies show that average travel consultant salaries range between £21,000 and £24,000 per year. Bonuses and incentives are common in this industry, and they can bring salaries up to nearly £30,000 a year.