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How do you start a career as a travel agent?

Question:

How do you start a career as a travel agent?

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Answer:

The main role of travel agents is to help their clients, whether individuals or groups, with planning and preparing for their trips. They discuss options and budgets, make reservations, and recommend activities and itineraries, among others. Their various duties require travel agents to be detail-oriented, organized, and be able to multitask. They also need good customer service and sales skills.

Given the aforementioned qualities, the first step and minimum education requirement to become a travel agent is to obtain a high school diploma (or a GED certificate or its equivalent). Many employers, however, prefer individuals with at least some college coursework especially in majors related to tourism and hospitality management. Aspiring travel agents may also benefit from taking courses in marketing.

Travel experiences, whether personal or through clubs in high school or college, and familiarity with foreign locals/travel destinations will also be helpful in this profession.

Although it is not required, travel agents can also obtain professional certification by The Travel Institute. Individuals starting out in their careers can apply to be a Certified Travel Associate (CTA), while more experience travel agents can apply to be a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC).

Once an individual has been hired as a travel agent, his/her company usually provides a bit of training in the computer software that their company uses.

Of course, underlying all these qualifications is a general love of travel and an adventurous spirit that can help any individual in performing his/her duties as a travel agent.

For more information about becoming a travel agent, check out this article: Becoming a Travel Agent: Education and Career Roadmap

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