How to become a Travel Agent

Overview, Courses, Exam, Colleges, Pathways, Salary

Travel & Tourism


Who is Travel Agent ?

Most often, people travel either due to personal reasons (to vacation or to visit family etc) or due to job-related reasons (to attend meetings and conferences etc). Planning the trip and making arrangements form a necessary part of any trip. This is where a travel agent steps in, to simplify all the fuss about travelling, providing assistance to plan and arrange the entire trip. Their work involves aiding the customer in every step of planning their trip - from choosing the destination and mode of transportation to the accommodation and activities upon arrival to the destination.

They also help the customer book transportation tickets and hotel reservations, in accordance with the customer's budget. It is both a sale and a marketing service job. Specialities under this sector include leisure travel, business trip, and location-specific journey to different destinations. Apart from the soft skills required to do the job well, it is the passion for travel that is of most importance. 

Typical day at work

What does Travel Agent do?

Some of the responsibilities of a travel agent are:

  • Assisting the customers in planning their trip while ensuring that they receive the best experience possible throughout the trip.
  • Understanding the needs, requirements, and preferences of the customer while also keeping in mind the purpose of the trip as is relevant to plan it (business/leisure).
  • Offering suggestions and making arrangements according to the customer's requirements, such as providing a five-star hotel for business personnel, a resort with spa and other treatments to relax, or a tree hut accommodation for the adventure seekers etc.
  • Computing the cost of the travel and accommodations in order to and make arrangements as per the customer's budget provide all the requirements strictly within their budget so that they could enjoy the trip without any financial constraints.
  • Collecting and processing the payments, make bookings for the flights, travel arrangements, local transport, car rentals etc
  • Keeping the customers updated with their travel plans and information regarding the climate conditions, details regarding the destination, travel advisories etc.
  • Being updated about the current news regarding the travel industry, rules and regulations especially in case of international travel, climate and geographical conditions to ensure the safety of the clients.
  • Coordinating with various partners in the travel industry to ensure a smooth experience for the customer and networking with tour operators
  • Finding new destinations and research the most feasible and best services for their customers.
  • Marketing and selling the packages and offers put forward by the suppliers using promotional techniques 

Abilities and Aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Travel Agent?

Interpersonal skills and social perceptiveness are crucial for a job as a travel agent as it forms an important part of customer service. Customer satisfaction is the key to success as a travel agent. Sound principles of sales and marketing are also needed, apart from service orientation. The individual must be attentive to understand what the customer needs and shall enjoy, in order to match the customer with the best services as suited to him. This job also requires the agent to network well with other professionals in the industry such as travel guides, airlines, hotels, cruise lines, etc.

The travel agent must be knowledgeable about relevant destinations and hotspots, especially those which are undiscovered or unique,  as well as the current trends in the industry. A travel agent also needs to possess technological expertise in order to provide fast and easy solutions to the customer's issues as well as to handle bookings and scheduling, maintaining documentation, obtaining information etc. Problem-solving abilities are also crucial since the travel agent is a part of the Travel and Tourism industry, which is often dependent on factors such as the weather and the economy that are beyond one's control.

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Entrance Exam

Entrance Exam for Travel Agent ?


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Career outlook

What does the future look like for Travel Agent?

The career as a travel agent comes with certain perks such as all expenses paid trips from hotels, airlines, or government tourism sector in exchange for the promotion/ sales of their offers and ultimately increasing their revenue. For those who are passionate about travelling, the job of a travel agent is especially satisfying as it involves travelling opportunities as well. Travel agents also work as tour operators, package holiday operators, cruise lines and independent travel agents. Junior counter staff are the entry-level jobs for aspiring travel agents and who can then move onto managerial positions after gaining experience. 

However, with the advancement in technology, many people now enjoy easy access to tools for making their own travel arrangements, thereby potentially reducing their need for a travel agent's assistance. To counter this, a travel agent must be armed with the most advanced technology and excellent marketing and customer service skills in order to make their travel hassle-free and provide services/offers that aren't accessible to the general public.