What does a Travel Agent do?
Travel Agents provide an intermediary service between clients and suppliers to plan leisure and business travel arrangements.
These services may range from straightforward tasks such as booking direct flights to coordinating entire travel experiences including itineraries, accommodation, transport, tours and visas.
As a Travel Agent, your key responsibility will be to simplify the process of arranging travel for your clients using your knowledge of the industry. Travel Agents provide expert advice, secure the best value options for their clients, and ensure they have a positive travel experience.
Travel Agents may specialise in a particular field such as domestic travel, international travel, corporate travel, or tours. Specialities can also be destination-specific, usually based on a Travel Agent’s familiarity with a particular region.
Most Travel Agents work in a sales environment in a retail travel agency, call centre or online agency, and make a commission on the bookings made.
Daily tasks for a Travel Consultant
As a Travel Agent, your daily tasks will include:
- Liaising with clients in person, over the phone or via email to discuss their travel requirements.
- Advising clients on suitable options for domestic or international destinations, tours, accommodation, transport, insurance and fares.
- Preparing customised itineraries to suit the clients’ preferences and budget.
- Making and confirming bookings, often via a Global Distribution System (computerised central reservation system).
- Issuing tickets or relevant documents.
- Providing up to date advice on travel regulations including visa and medical requirements, baggage limits, safety and local customs.
- Modifying existing bookings to suit a change in clients’ circumstances.
- Researching destinations and keeping up to date with travel industry news.
- Ongoing training with other team members and management.
To learn about the skills, traits and training needed to be a successful Travel Agent, read our tips on how to become a Travel Agent.
Working hours of an Travel Agent
Travel Agents employed by an agency usually work retail trading hours, which can include weekends and evenings. In a call centre environment, a Travel Agent may be rostered to work shifts during extended business hours and weekends. Some overtime may be required during peak travel seasons.
What is the difference between a Travel Agent and a Travel Consultant?
In Australia, the term ‘Travel Agent’ is often used interchangeably with ‘Travel Consultant’, referring to an individual as a employee of a travel agency.
'Travel Agent' is also sometimes used in reference to a business that provides travel and tourism services to customers on behalf of suppliers such as airlines, hotels and tour operators.