Travel consultant

A travel consultant

Description

Travel consultants provide customised information and consultation on travel offers, make reservations and sell travel services together with other related services.

Travel consultants typically do the following:

  • Research various destinations and means of travel regarding prices, customs, weather conditions, reviews etc.
  • Diagnose the clients’ specifications and wishes and suggest suitable travel packages or services
  • Organize travels from beginning to end, through booking tickets and accommodation, securing rental transportation etc.
  • Supply travelers with pertinent information and useful travel/holiday material (guides, maps, event programs etc)
  • Collect deposits and balances
  • Use promotional techniques and prepare promotional materials to sell itinerary tour packages
  • Handle unforeseen problems and complaints and determine eligibility for money returns
  • Attend conferences to maintain familiarity with tourism trends
  • Create and update electronic records of clients
  • Maintain relationships with key persons

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to travel consultant:

business travel consultant
tourism promotion agent
business travel advisor
leisure travel consultant
travel advisor

Working conditions

Travel consultants work in a variety of settings, including travel agencies, tour operators, and corporate travel departments. They typically work a regular 40-hour week, although they may have to work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules.

Some travel consultants work from home, and some may travel extensively to meet with clients or attend conferences. The work can be stressful, especially when making travel arrangements for last-minute trips or dealing with irate customers. However, most travel consultants find the work to be exciting and enjoy the opportunity to help people plan their dream vacations.

Minimum qualifications

Travel consultants need at least a high school diploma. Many employers prefer an associate or bachelor’s degree in hospitality, travel or a related field. Relevant coursework includes hospitality, sales, marketing, accounting, economics, business and geography.

Travel consultants typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, as well as the software and technology they use. It may also include shadowing an experienced travel consultant to learn how to perform various tasks

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Travel consultant is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Travel consultant career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to travel consultant.

travel agent
ticket sales agent
tour organiser
tourist information officer
night auditor

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of travel consultant. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of travel consultant with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

tourist information centre manager
travel agency manager
hospitality entertainment manager
mountain guide
rooms division manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of travel consultant.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of travel consultant.

  • Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Use global distribution system: Operate a computer reservations system or a global distribution system to book or reserve transportations and accommodations.
  • Oversee travel arrangements: Make sure that travel arrangements run according to plan and ensure effective and satisfactory service, accommodation and catering.
  • Maintain working relationships: Ensure effective working relationships with colleagues and others. Maintain them over long periods of time.
  • Handle customer complaints: Administer complaints and negative feedback from customers in order to address concerns and where applicable provide a quick service recovery.
  • Upsell products: Persuade customers to buy additional or more expensive products.
  • Process booking: Execute a booking of a place according to client’s requirement in advance and issue all appropriate documents.
  • Provide tourism related information: Give customers relevant information about historical and cultural locations and events while conveying this information in an entertaining and informative manner.
  • Advertise travel insurance: Promote and sell insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, financial default of travel suppliers and other losses incurred while travelling, either within one’s own country or internationally.
  • Devise tailor-made tourism itineraries: Create custom-made itineraries, taking into account the specific needs and preferences of customers.
  • Maintain relationship with suppliers: Build a lasting and meaningful relationship with suppliers and service providers in order to establish a positive, profitable and enduring collaboration, co-operation and contract negotiation.
  • Sell tourist packages: Exchange tourist services or packages for money on behalf of the tour operator and manage transportation and accommodation.
  • Customise travel package: Personalise and present custom-made travel packages for customer’s approval.
  • Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
  • Maintain customer service: Keep the highest possible customer service and make sure that the customer service is at all times performed in a professional way. Help customers or participants feel at ease and support special requirements.
  • Carry out internet research: Execute efficient search on the internet in order to gather relevant information and share it with others.
  • Use customer relationship management software: Use specialised software to manage company’s interactions with current and future customers. Organise, automate and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support, to increase targeted sales.
  • Process payments: Accept payments such as cash, credit cards and debit cards. Handle reimbursement in case of returns or administer vouchers and marketing instruments such as bonus cards or membership cards. Pay attention to safety and the protection of personal data.
  • Maintain customer records: Keep and store structured data and records about customers in accordance with customer data protection and privacy regulations.
  • Apply foreign languages in tourism: Use the mastery of foreign languages orally or written in the tourism sector in order to communicate with collaborators or customers.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of travel consultant. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Comply with food safety and hygiene: Respect optimal food safety and hygiene during preparation, manufacturing, processing, storage, distribution and delivery of food products.
  • Read maps: Read maps effectively.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Oversee the design of touristic publications: Monitor the design of marketing publications and materials for the promotion of tourism-related products.
  • Oversee the printing of touristic publications: Manage the printing of marketing publications and materials for the promotion of tourism-related products.
  • Demonstrate intercultural competences in hospitality services: Understand, respect and build constructive and positive relations with intercultural clients, guests and collaborators in the field of hospitality.
  • Plan events: plan programmes, agendas, budgets, and services of an event according to customers’ requirements.
  • Assist clients with special needs: Aid clients with special needs following relevant guidelines and special standards. Recognise their needs and accurately respond to them if needed.
  • Manage online content: Ensure the website content is up to date, organised, attractive and meets the target audience needs, the requirements of the company and international standards by checking the links, setting the publishing time framework and order.
  • Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.
  • Follow ethical code of conduct in tourism: Carry out touristic services according to accepted principles of right and wrong. This includes fairness, transparency and impartiality.
  • Perform services in a flexible manner: Adapt service approach when circumstances change.

ISCO group and title

4221 – Travel consultants and clerks


References
  1. Travel consultant – ESCO
  2. Travel Consultant job description template – Workable
  3. Travel Consultant Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  4. Featured image: Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Last updated on December 9, 2022

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