The Demand for Travel Advisors: Opportunities, Education, and Industry Insight
In the wake of the pandemic, there has been an increased need for travel advisors. As the desire to travel grows and post-pandemic obstacles are removed, the travel experience has become more complex, leading travelers to seek more from their vacation experiences. This has made travel advisors more valuable than ever in this new travel era.
The “Big Resignation” has also driven many to seek new careers, with particular interest in those that offer the opportunity to work from home or enjoy a flexible schedule. For ambitious entrepreneurs, becoming a travel advisor can be an ideal way to set themselves apart.
According to Tammy Levent, president of TASK, “Becoming a travel agent today is more important than at any time in our travel history.” For those interested in a career in travel sales, there are various paths to achieve this goal through education and industry insight.
Where to Start
Education is key for those just starting their career in the travel industry. The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) offers an online education course to promote careers in the travel agency industry and assist new advisors. The course provides an in-depth overview of the travel industry, advice on making money as a travel advisor, and guidance on finding a job or starting a business.
The Travel Institute offers the TRIPKIT introductory training program, which is similar to a one-year college education that includes real-world agent experiences and explains industry terminology. Aspiring advisors can also deepen their education through TASK, a success kit for travel agents developed by Tammy Levent, offering expert advice and practical training programs.
Host Agencies and Franchises
Depending on how entrepreneurial a budding travel advisor is, they may decide to go it alone or partner with a host agency or purchase a franchise. Host agencies provide resources such as marketing, training, software access, and sales assistance in exchange for a split commission. Franchises offer a “business in a box” where franchisees receive 100 percent of their commission but pay fees to the franchisor.
Relationships with host agencies and franchises can provide free education, in-house tools training, and industry insight.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Travel Advisor?
According to Levent, becoming a travel advisor can be achieved in about six months after initial training. During this time, aspiring advisors can establish their corporation, marketing, branding, and niche. Continuing education is key for travel advisors, with opportunities offered through industry organizations and programs such as the Travel Institute, travel agent academy, and Cruise Lines International Association courses.
After completing initial training, travel advisors have many options for continuing education, including advanced certificates offered by the Travel Institute, product and destination training, and ongoing education units. With these opportunities, advisors can learn to generate more bookings, access special loyalty programs, and become specialists in their chosen niches.
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In conclusion, the need for travel advisors has never been greater, and with the right education and industry insight, aspiring advisors can embark on a fulfilling and potentially lucrative career in the travel industry.