If you have decided on building a career as a travel agent then there will be a host of services that you will be expected to provide your clients. This will not just be about booking their airline tickets or organising a wild Indian safari.
Here are some of the services that should ideally be offered by a travel agent:
- Been the hub for all travel-related arrangements and logistics.
- Planning and making itineraries and schedules that will meld with the interests and needs of the client.
- Obtaining tickets and bookings at the best prices and timings possible.
- Buying airline tickets.
- Booking cruise tours.
- Booking hotels and other forms of lodging as requested by the clients.
- Makin arrangements for transportation at the destination.
- Structuring niche travel packages and leading them.
- Offering tailor-made destination events like weddings and conferences.
- Giving advice regarding visas and passports when it comes to international travel and also advising them about both domestic and international travel arrangements.
- Assisting travellers with all the special needs and preferences.
These are the typical tasks expected out of a person who has made it his/her career to be a travel agent. Here is a look at the daily life of a travel agent and the kind of tasks you will be expected to do.
Getting Information from Clients
Whether you do it face to face, over the phone or online, you will have to extract information regarding the kind of places they want to visit, the sights that they want to see what they are willing to pay and so on. Once you have this data you will understand what you can offer them that will suit their needs and whether you have the resources to do so.
You will also have to find out factors like how they want to travel; whether by rail or air, what is the duration of their travel, the number of travellers, any special needs and so on. This will help you determine whether you have the resources to satisfy their requirements.
To keep all the information organised, you will have to maintain records efficiently. Keep a database which maintains all the preferences of your clients. This includes their seating, accommodation and meal preferences, their frequent flier numbers, and requirements at the hotels and so on. With meticulous records, you will be able to provide your clients with a tailor-made experience every time.
Dion Due Diligence
Regardless of whether you have visited a particular place or not or even if you are organising a wild Indian safari, you will have to do the necessary homework on behalf of your clients. Find out if there is anything new that has come up since you or your clients last visited it. This includes both good and bad changes. See if any innovations have come up or there has been a change in the local scene. Thankfully the internet has made lives much simpler.
If you are running an agency then you will have to take care of all the administration to ensure that everything is operating smoothly. This will include reading and answering all your e-mails and letters and paying bills. You will also have to keep track of the income and the profit and loss that you are incurring. If there are staffs involved then you will have to manage your employees as well. Sometimes you will even have to travel to popular destinations firsthand to see the new developments in a place.