"Travel and tourism has become the world's largest and fastest expanding industry with growth showing a consistent year on year increase"
- TravelDailyNews Journal, April 18 2006
To become a travel agent could not have been at a better time. In fact, the job opportunity this industry presents is even more promising in the UK as "winning its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games could earn the UK more than £2bn in extra tourism revenue, industry leaders are predicting" reports the BBC on the eve of wining the London 2012 Olympics bid. You can partake of this mouth watering amount by becoming an agent in the travel industry! But what does the job involve and what are the requirements to become a travel agent in the UK?
Agents give advice and sell travel related products and packages to people travelling for business, leisure or any other reason.
They provide advice on destinations, flights cruises, hotels and accommodation, car rental, guide and tour information as well as travel insurance. Some are able to help customers organise and obtain travel documents like visa and passport as well as travellers cheque.
It could be a very rewarding job if you know your onions very well.
Rather than feel threatened that the proliferation of internet travelling sites would erode any gain in the business, new and upcoming travel agents align themselves with the internet technology and provide this same information and services to the teaming travellers and tourist who need help and guidance in fishing out the best destinations and ticket prices.
This has caused an emerging trend towards some agents even working from home online away from the traditional bricks and mortar setting in the office. One thing is sure that the industry will not die out. Man will always travel and move. The World Tourism Organization has predicted "that by 2020 tourist arrivals around the world should reach 1.6 billion" continues the TravelDailyNews quoted above.
You can become a self employed agent. See how to easily do this if you really want a job working as a travel agent with minimum start off capital at our work from home section on the travel agent business opportunity section.
What is the job like? Working as an agent in the travel industry have lots of pluses.
For one, it is a 9 – 5 job. You do not need to work shifts or take on calls like doctors, pharmacists or physiotherapist and quite a few other professions. If you work with a small firm or on your own, you may find you work a bit longer hours till 7pm in the evening. Weekends are optional in some cases, but hardly do travel agents need to work during bank holidays.
Issues you deal with will be mainly discussing with clients either face to face in your office or most often on phone. You will also be in constant touch with airlines, train and cruise companies, car rental organisations and other travel agencies and companies.
Most of your job therefore can be performed from the office or at home with good network of telecommunication and IT infrastructure.
It is job were you will meet with lots of people, and many have found satisfaction from that.
Many universities offer courses in travel and tourism. This could lay a good foundation for aspiring travel agents. You can get a Professional Travel Agency Training with ICSlearning, an online trainer. In the UK, if you are 24years of age or less, you can get vocational training as a travel apprentice from government supported body called apprenticeships.org.uk .
Knowledge of the top tourism destinations and regions in details would be invaluable to be able to provide up to date information to your clients.
You will need to contact the ABTA to register, write and pass their examinations.
If you prefer, you could take a full robust training course online with one of the leading UK travel agency training course provider called ICS
Registering with the ABTA will boost your customer’s confidence in you as they are reassured of best practise standards from any member of the Association of British Travel Agent.
They will be able to furnish you with further information you will need in registering as a travel agent. Contact ABTA through their website abta.com.
You could contact and register with any of the travel agencies below for job information or even for your travel needs. They include:
Apart from frequent pecks from travel companies offering you free cruises, weekend breaks, and great holiday deals, as a travel agent, you earn £8000 - £12000.00 as a trainee travel agent, up to £2200.00 has a senior agent, and up to £40000 as a very senior travel agent.
If you run your own travel agency, the sky is your limit.
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