In addition to a passion for travel and a dedication to client satisfaction, one of the important skills a travel agent can possess is a keen ability to communicate. Travel agents must also be able to put their customers at ease and answer questions in detail. Additionally, they must also have excellent organizational skill and the ability to multitask effectively.
Skills learned in online travel agent/tourism training
In addition to working on communication skills and organization, according to O*NET Online, other subjects and skills you may cover in a travel agent training online program:
- Administrative, clerical and accounting procedures
- Customer service principles
- Sales and marketing techniques
- Currency exchange
- Transportation and logistics
You have a wide variety of options for programs that can help you hone your skills. You may pursue an associate's degree or bachelor's degree program in tourism and hospitality management at a university or community college. Or you may simply want to take a single course. But there's also a middle option that may help: travel agent certification.
Travel agent certification online
It is important to ensure the travel agent certification online program pursueds is the right one for one's goals.
One place to start may be the Travel Institute which has been certifying agents for over five decades. With multiple tracks for a wide-range of experience levels, a prospective may find the right path here. The institute has several programs, tests, webinars and specialization options that are tailor-made for students at different stages in their careers.
Travel agent and tourism skills in the workforce
Individuals in this field may potentially open travel agencies or work at an existing travel agency, but there are other potential options including airlines, hotel chains, student travel-abroad programs, amusement park companies, cruise companies, companies that focus on theme-related travel, or even working as a tour guide.
A travel agent who has robust knowledge of particularly exotic locations can cater to highly specific travel needs and who has a comprehensive understanding of customer service will be greatly advantaged. In an increasingly niche and competitive field, anything that can distinguish one from other travel agents can be a great advantage. An online education in travel and tourism may be that advantage.'
"Earn a Professional Certification," The Travel Institute, November 5, 2014, http://thetravelinstitute.com/certification/
"Travel Agents," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 5, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/travel-agents.htm
"Lodging Managers," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 5, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/lodging-managers.htm
"41-3041.00 - Travel Agents," O*NET OnLine, November 5, 2014, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/41-3041.00