Being a travel agent pros and cons

Do you like the travel industry but not sure if you are interested in becoming a travel agent? Here are some of the pros and cons for this profession:

Pros:

1. Most of the training is done on the job. Because college is not a requirement, this is a great career path if you are someone who learns better on the job rather than in a classroom environment.
2. You can hone in your customer service skills. Customer satisfaction is your main responsibility – it’s perfect for someone who is a people person.
3. You get to be in the know about the latest vacation “hot spots” and other travel industry news.
4. If your job requires you to lead tours, you get the opportunity to travel to great locations.
5. Perks. If you enjoy traveling, working at a travel agency may get you access to some great flight and hotel discounts.
6. Mobility. The travel industry has no borders. You can move to anywhere in the world and be able to apply your skills at another travel agency. Your only restrictions are the ones imposed by the specific country’s travel regulations.
7. Fine-tune your problem solving skills. Travel agents are required to think on the fly and deal with every travel issue imaginable. Great problem solving skills are highly sought after in many jobs.
8. Regular hours. Travel agents work office hours and this job does not usually require you to bring work home. This is a job that will provide you with a work-life balance.
9. Develop a great network. The travel industry is all about networking. As a travel agent, your job is to recommend travel destinations, flights and hotels to customers. As a result, you’ll have the opportunity to network with representatives from travel commissions, airlines, hotels and resorts, and cruise lines.

Cons:
1. You are the first point of contact for all customer inquiries.
2. Market instability. The travel industry is dependent on the economy. If the economy is not performing well, people tend to travel less.
3. Salary. The salary range for a travel agent tends to be lower than other industries such as banking. However, the perks of discounted or complimentary travel may make up for the wage gap.
4. Passion for travel. Part of your job is to recommend travel products to customers and they can sense if you are not passionate about it (sometimes it can come across as disinterest or disingenuous)
5. Interpersonal skills required. This job is all about service and interaction with customers. If you do not enjoy working with people, then this is not the right profession for you.
6. Bottom line focused. A travel agent is essentially a sales person who is responsible for meeting a weekly or monthly sales target. If your sales performance is down, your job may be affected.

If you are someone who enjoys working with people, gains satisfaction from customers’ great vacation experiences and is passionate about travel, then a career as a travel agent is a great option for you to consider following highschool. If you are unsure about this career path, you may want to have a conversation with your school counselor or do further research on the industry before making a decision to become a travel agent.

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