Written By: Diane Petras, CTIE, President – The Travel Institute
Because we educate so many new travel agents each year, we hear this a lot! Whether they come to us from colleges teaching our curriculum or from another industry and are seeking a new career path, potential new agents know there is much to learn about our vibrant industry and the role of the travel professional.
First, they should understand the industry is constantly changing. This includes technology, suppliers, traveler issues and destination information, but also terminology…even the term “travel agent.” Over the years, as commissions fluctuated and service fees were introduced, the need to add value to the travel-planning process evolved. Today we are much more than travel agents. We are travel associates, consultants, advisors, designers, curators and specialists. These terms better convey the true value of a travel professional and the reality that continued learning is key to long-term success.
Also, to become a professional, it takes more than a love for travel. Having a passion for helping people see the world is a great place to start, but there are other important considerations. You need a baseline understanding of the industry as it relates to travel products and booking processes, geography, technology, marketing and specialization. Starting out, you also need to know how to find employment at an agency or structure a home-based business. And of course, knowing how to make money is a must.
How do you figure it out? Easy! The Travel Institute is dedicating the month of October to you and thousands of others looking to join this growing profession and begin your TRIP of a lifetime! We have a wealth of information to train new agents, including real-world advice from industry experts and, for a limited time, tuition assistance on our TRIPKit introductory training program—the gold standard in new agent training.
We trained 2,063 new travel agents last year alone, and we’ve trained hundreds of thousands more since 1980. But don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what others have to say about TRIPKit:
“The Travel Institute’s introductory program helped me tremendously in my new travel career! I had no clue where to start and TRIPKit helped. The most important part was learning all the small details about planning travel that I never would have thought of! 10/10 would do it again!” – Lydia Garcia
“I definitely have a better understanding of how the travel industry works. I think the geographic and cultural overview of the world was very important. We all know our little corner of the world, but very few know a lot about countries on the other side of it.” -Heather Tracy
“Completing the TRIPKit program helped me enter the travel industry with confidence. The Travel Institute helped pave the way towards my success. Graduating from this program gave me a strong foundational knowledge of the industry and valuable information on some of the most popular destinations to travel around the world. I feel more confident as a new professional and the value I will add to a client’s vacation.” -Cindy Stafford
Get started on the right career path. Begin your TRIP of a Lifetime today!
The Personality of a Travel Pro: Is it Yours?
You’re Social: You love people and know how to engage! You communicate and interact well with others, love sharing ideas and experiences, remember names and birthdays—or take great notes and have a desire to help those who need it. People count on you and trust you.
You Listen: You are an active listener and give full attention to your clients. You listen to understand. You ask questions or paraphrase to clarify what is being shared.
You Love Learning: You crave new experiences and knowledge and are proactive when it comes to seeking the information and skills you need to advance your career.
You’re Passionate: You look forward to each day and see opportunity where others see challenges. You are flexible and adaptable. You react well to change. You have a positive can-do attitude about getting things done.
You Love the Sales Process: You come alive during the consultative process where you are the expert. That is your core value. You are genuine and never afraid to discuss upgrades or higher-priced products when you feel they are right for your client. You communicate in a clear, confident and knowledgeable way. Your clients are informed, they appreciate your knowledge and refer others.
You’re Organized: You love the details. You remain reliable and thoughtful as you manage hundreds of trip details in a typical workday from booking to troubleshooting, all while preparing complex travel itineraries.
Hopefully these traits resonate well with you. Perhaps you need to strengthen a few to guarantee success, but now you know what it takes!