The exciting life of Travel Agents
Tourism is a massive industry in South Africa. It’s one of the biggest forms of income for the country, so it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of opportunities for people to make some money from tourism jobs. Travel agents are at the forefront of this industry and the most lucrative way to capitalize on South Africa’s tourism hub is to get involved in travel agent jobs.
If you like the idea of making other people’s trips to South Africa as amazing as possible by organizing them brilliant travel packages, then read a bit more on what a travel agent is and how you can get into the travel industry.
What does a Travel Agent do?
A travel agent is a licensed distributor of travel products and packages. These people give travel information, make reservations on your behalf and assist consumers and businesses in making travel arrangements and entertainment packages. Their main job is to sell temporary travel space on transportation services, accommodation and tours.
All of these things can be done in a personal capacity, so people will use the services of a travel agent to organize all of this for them. The Agent can use their knowledge and experience to give their client the best travel experience possible. You will need to have intimate knowledge of the area you are sending your clientele to. You can very well be organizing everything from flights, to accommodation, to the food they will be eating and the tours they will be taking. Your job is to make their trip as easy and enjoyable as possible.
How do I become a Travel Agent?
As we mentioned before, the tourism industry has many vacancies and opportunities, this means that the industry can be very cut throat and competitive. You would normally enter this industry at a junior level and there are no minimum requirements besides a matric certificate. You would have all of your training given to you during the job’s induction process. This includes product knowledge and information on how to pitch a tourism package to clients. During the course of your employment you may be given further training and may even be taken to the destinations you are selling packages for so you can familiarize yourself with the location.
In terms of qualifications, there are various degrees and diplomas in travel and tourism that you can undertake to improve your knowledge on the industry. To get involved in tourism jobs you will have to register under the Tourism Act of South Africa. Then if you want to gain credibility in the industry you should register with the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA). This organization is internationally recognized and will give you a viable stamp of approval that you are a legitimate travel agent. Furthermore if you want to sell airline tickets in your travel packages (which is becoming a main staple of the agents’ income) you will need to register with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This organization allows for a further qualification in airline ticketing, itinerary planning and airfare creation.
What kind of personality do I need to have?
As this is a very personal industry, you will need to be good with people. You will need to be patient, harbor good communication skills and be responsible.
Then you need to be well travelled or at least have very good general knowledge of the areas you will be sending clients to. How can you create an amazing tourism experience for someone if you have no knowledge of the area?
Lastly you need to be prepared to work strange hours. A lot of the time you will be liaising with people across time lines and borders. You might have to organize a trip to South Africa for people from America for example. You can’t expect the client to get up early or stay awake so they can speak to you during working hours.
Perks of the job
You will have intimate knowledge of the tourism industry, so you will know about cheap airfares or accommodation before anyone else does. Travel agents might get some free trips overseas as your company wants you to expand your knowledge on the areas you conduct business in.
Another great opportunity is the fact that you can work freelance, if you have a big enough client base, or you can open up your own travel agency. You will, however, need a lot of capital and experience before you consider this.
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Travel Agent jobs on Job Mail
Are you a Travel Agent? Here are some great travel agent jobs that might tickle your interest:
Inbound Reservations Consultants
Intermediate Inbound Tour Consultant
If you have a love for travelling and want to help others discover it also, then why not browse the many different vacancies on Junk Mail? Tourism jobs are on the rise, so take advantage. Register your CV on the Job Mail website and start applying for travel agent jobs today.