What is a Travel Agent?
A Travel Agent usually works for a travel agency or freelance for themselves.
They are responsible for researching and booking all travel arrangements on behalf of their clients. These customers can be private individuals or corporate clients.
Travel Agents often have access to cheaper fares and specials on accommodation which they can pass these on to their clients.
Some Travel Agents may specialise in a particular field.
- corporate travel
- overland holidays
- student travel
- cruises etc
What does a Travel Agent do?
- helping people plan their dream vacations
- suggesting new and exciting places
- providing foreign country regulations
- providing advice on cross cultural customs and expectations
- booking and issuing tickets for various forms of transport
- booking accommodation
- arranging a rental cars and/or airport shuttle services
- traveling to various destinations to ‘try them out’ before recommending them
- working out itineraries
- organising visas and passports
- recommending appropriate vaccinations/medications, for example yellow fever, or malaria
- working with costings and budgets
- taking payments
- displaying and issuing brochures
Are you … ?
- passionate about travel?
- a peoples’ person?
- interested in geography?
- detail orientated?
- a good communicator?
- neat and professional?
- interested in sales?
How do I become a Travel Agent?
A lot of institutions offer courses, certificates and diplomas in some form of tourism. Check with your local institution whether they do.
- Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) and a Bachelor of Commerce degree (specialising in tourism or tourism management) can be done at some universities.
- National Diplomas in Tourism Management or Travel & Tourism can be done at most universities of technology.
- There are some private institutions too, that offer courses in tourism.
Minimum requirements: Grade 12, geography and maths or accountancy.
Is becoming a Travel Agent the right career choice for me?
See below for more info.