Many travelers, even before the recent pandemic, used travel advisory services to ensure their trips went smoothly. Many travelers, whether business or pleasure, were in need of changing flights, hotels and other travel plans which could then result in loss of flight and event fees, and even luggage.
According to the American Society of Travel Advisors, (ASTA), there are four main reasons travel advisors are necessary.
Travel advisors work to secure the best deals for their clients as opposed to a travel agent, who represents the trip insurance policy providers directly. An advisor is better able to help people choose a plan that fits their budget and their specific health and travel needs.
A travel advisor can help find the hotels, resorts, accommodations, even tours and events that a traveler may not even know about. They can help tailor a trip to include all the extras while enjoying discounts and perks for hotels and tickets to local activities and adventures.
Best of all, should there be any issues with a flight, hotel, rental car or lost luggage, having a trip insurance with a cancellation policy is something your customers will thank you for and they’ll return to you next time they venture out!
While you only need to be a high school graduate to become a travel advisor, there are courses and certifications you can acquire in order to become more successful. Also, many agencies require at least a certificate or other education to begin selling insurance policies.
Below are some steps to consider for a career as a travel agent or advisor.
Understanding the travel insurance industry is a must when it comes to advancing your career. As you start to learn more about not only the industry, but all the opportunities for travelers around the world, you realize that the more you learn, the less you know! How exciting is that?
Staying on top of your game is important to gain and keep clients who will come back time and time again, looking to you for vacation spots, or setting up an itinerary for solo or group travel plans.
Continuing to take courses specifically designed for gaining a deeper understanding of the tourism industry and keeping current with new developments in the field will set you apart and help you succeed as your clientele grows.
These courses can be especially useful if you plan to specialize in one area of travel, such as cruises or international travel.
Do you have the customer service skills you need? Your ability to interact with others, whether it’s done by phone calls, emails or in-person meetings will help you gain and keep loyal clients. Communication is so important, especially if you are working for yourself and not with other agents or within an agency.
Interpersonal skills will help as you navigate follow up questions or communicate changes that help you in negotiating with hotels, event planners, conference locations, and other businesses in order to offer the best deals for your clients.
As a travel advisor, you understand the high cost both financially and emotionally of people investing in travel. Clients depend on you to help them save the most money possible while they travel – before, during, and after their trip. Research is of utmost importance in assuring your clients that they are getting the best deals with the lowest cost available for all of their travel needs and accommodations.
Agencies offer on-the-job training to gain access to sources that help close the deal with the best offers available. Sometimes having that training can help before you start your own business either from home or with others
A college education can help you gain working knowledge in areas such as tourism, best business practices, international affairs and marketing. This serves you and your client better if you have either firsthand knowledge or have a degree in tourism or other travel health or marketing degrees.
You could also pursue a travel agent certification program to gain expertise. The Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) test allows you to demonstrate your skills and qualifications as an agent/advisor.
These are a few of the insurance related processes you’ll learn about:
As you gain more experience, you can take additional exams for more advanced certifications, even becoming a Certified Travel Associate (CTA).
These courses, among others, will help you with:
With more knowledge and a desire to help others, you’re one step closer to a successful career in the travel industry. As you’ve traveled yourself and felt some of the pain points that you wish others had saved you from, it’s a great time to help others and put money in your pocket as well.
We look forward to hearing about your success and even partnering with you in the future. Let us know how we can help you by contacting one of our licensed team members.