Destiny of traditional travel agencies has been tragic since business went online. ‘Onlinification’ of travel planning and organizing, however, has had both negative and positive consequences on tourism, especially job market.
Online travel agencies (OTA) are offering flexible booking opportunities of travel packages. The travelers can book and choose the best suitable flights or ferry tickets, hotel room and car rentals at the most convenient price. The main advantage of the system is in its transparency and efficiency. Online booking is possible throughout the world without any restrictions, which creates price reduction and high quality service provision due to the competitive market conditions. The demand for travel agents was based primarily on the knowledge of Global Distribution Systems (GDS), such as AMADEUS, GALILEO and SABRE.
Despite all advantages of OTAs, there are travelers, who still are ready to buy a service from excellent ‘human travel expert’, who would arrange the holidays for them, thus saving their valuable time and energy.
The best image of Travel Agent
Travel Agent, aka Travel Consultant, Travel Advisor or Travel Artist is a specialist, who offers his/her expertise in vocation planning and organisation.
International Air Transport Association (IATA), an association of world airlines, offers an education and certification programme upon completion of which you will be eligible for Travel and Tourism Professional (TTP) designation.
The course is provided in form of distance-learning programme in total of 150 hours and contains the following subject areas:
- Popular destinations
- Sales technique
- Airfare construction and ticket exchange/reissuance
- Travel industry laws and regulations
- Tour, luxury and group travel options
- Accommodation (other than hotel)
- Social Media Marketing
The course completion opens a door to receiving a Travel Sales and Operations Diploma and Travel and Tourism Consultant Diploma. The cost of the ebook required for the course is $660.
Travel consultancy can be done as a part of an travel agency association or it can be independent consultancy job as an Luxury Travel Agent, who is specializes in one particular destination or region or country.
Excellent Travel Consultant should have the following abilities:
- To show competency in destination’s history, culture and economic conditions
- To organise, plan and design a travel experience for others
- To constantly learn and implement it into practice
- To identify and direct customer needs
- To change the scenario during the trip
- To communicate and tell about destination efficiently
- To be able to be familiar with all travel software types
- To decide and act in a quick manner
Changes in industry operating models bring a need to changes in job descriptions and job requirements as well. Adapting to this changes may not always work, thus, new solutions and brand new jobs can be provided as an alternative. Changing concept of travel consultancy is one the nest examples for this alternative.