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Travel Agent: Job Roles, Career Prospects and Skills

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In India, the travel industry is one of the most flourishing industries in today’s time. Also it is expected to create more than 45 million jobs in different fields by 2025. Getting a job in the travel industry can be highly lucrative for the right candidates. There are various types of jobs in the travel and tourism industry. One such popular job related to this sector is the job of a travel agent.

Career as Travel Agent

In this write-up today, let us discuss about the job role of travel agent jobs and the career prospects associated with it…

Travel Agent Job Roles

A travel agent is required to provide help to clients/customers to make a travel plan for pleasure, recreation, tourism, business, medical or any other purpose. The role is a diverse one where the concerned person is involved in all aspects of the travel plan. From booking travel tickets and accommodation, schedule trip itineraries, and make travel arrangements, and so on.

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Duties and responsibilities:

  • As a travel agent, your duties include any or all of the following, depending on your skills, expertise and experience:
  • Arrange travel for vacation, business, spiritual, and medical purposes to customers
  • Listening to customers’ preferences and then making a travel plan
  • Suggesting travel plans and destinations to customers
  • Design tour packages
  • Arrange excursions and day trips
  • Book air/rail tickets
  • Arrange cabs/bus/rental cars for trips within the city or outside
  • Book hotels, resorts, B&B as per customers’ preferencesCalculate total travel costs
  • Complete necessary documentation works like as passports or visas for travelling abroad
  • Make alternative arrangements if there are last-minute changes before or during the trip
  • Handle customer queries and complaints
  • Get new customer leads by discussing travel plans
  • Make recommendations of various tour packages etc.
  • In short, we can say that a travel agent helps customers to find the best possible travel arrangements at the best price.

Where are Travel Agents required? Career Prospects

Travel agents are focusing on a specific type of travel in present time. Usually travel agents work for tour operators or travel companies and are assigned the responsibility for selling the company’s tours and services. Travel agents are hired to book travel packages in hotels, resorts, airlines, corporates, recreation centers and by individual clients. Make your bright career in travel agent jobs profile field.

  • There are travel agents for adventurous tours only, where they book adventure travel packages.
  • Some work for tourist destinations and use their expertise to help sell travel packages to potential clients.
  • Some travel agents provide travel arrangements for hospital and medical purposes.
  • Travel agents also help in educational institutes for education tours and travels and excursions
  • Some cater to a specific group of people, such as senior citizens or married couples.
  • Also big corporations or other large institutions have their own travel agents to arrange travel plans for their employees or associates for business and official purposes.
  • Nowadays, spiritual recreation has become very popular. Thus, there are travel agents who arrange travel bookings for spiritual purpose, where they have to arrange for yoga, meditation and other recreation packages as well.
  • There are travel agents who book “girls only” trip anywhere within the country and outside.

Essential skills to do well in Travel Agent Jobs

Employers prefer candidates who have a basic graduate qualification and have experience in the travel industry. Candidates with any formal training in customer service, client handling have added advantages. Better job prospects requires professional certification or diploma, or degree in travel and tourism. Besides educational qualification, other essential skills include:

  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Eager to learn about new places and destinations
  • Detail orientation
  • Should have good time management skills
  • Excellent sales skills

Also if you have a passion of accompanying tourists to become a perfect story-teller to a particular place, you can find your career as a tourist guide.

Tourism sector is growing. Find out your ways to grow with it.

How to become tourist guide in India?

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How to Become a Tourist Guide in India

The job of a tourist guide always sounds to be interesting and fun. Yes, it might be good but not that easy. Roaming different places every day, interacting with new groups, new languages, new tradition and many more need hard work too. Though the job may look cool in today’s office culture but it is not. I won’t burn your desires to be a tourist guide, rather you will surely love this profession if understood the work culture and polish yourself for being one. You need to work hard for this too.

Tourist Guide is the only person who can ‘make or break’ the image of any place. Its the job of guide to creatively beautify even the most boring lane or place. So with the magic in words, we can do magic in tourism scope of any place.

Sorry for showing it not much easy but will not shatter your dreams. To become a tourist guide is of course fun and full of experiences. Hence, we try to provide the help you need to be the tourist guide in India. Here are answers to your questions on the way to how to become a tour guide in India.

Qualifications required to become tourist guide:

The job of tourist guide is very challenging and needs preparation. Training courses provide you all the knowledge about sites, historical monuments and destinations with the facts the places hold. Also, the course includes practical knowledge to enter the market. While there are many institutes and universities which run certificate and diploma courses for tourist guide. But most prominent guides are to own the license approved by Ministry of Tourism to work officially and permanently as a tourist guide. The government provides the license to regional level tourist guide and also runs Regional Level Guide Training Program (RLGTP). These programs and training sessions are conducted under the guidance of Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM) or other government recognized institutes. The course trains the person about the knowledge of places and regions, management ethics for the group, aspects of handling challenges and knowledge of policies.

Source: Ministry Of Tourism

Eligibility to apply for the tourist guide courses:

Fluency in English speaking, graduates in any discipline. The degree and diploma in travel, hospitality and archaeology is an add-on. Also, preference is given to those with the knowledge of any foreign language. The course requires the minimum age of 20 years.

A written test is conducted for selection, which comprises:

  • General Knowledge
  • History
  • Knowledge of tourist destination, monuments and sites.

Though currently all the government licensed courses and selections have been kept on stay. Followed up with many reasons. Being no vacancy to new program introductions. None of the reason is yet openly announced, neither informed with future aspects and planning.

But the job and work is still on. Tourism has been continuously increasing in India with the growth and job prospects in the market. Tour guides are thus a big requirement currently. Private travel companies and vendors are hiring personal trained and privately certified guides, at present.

List of Colleges/ Institutes with Tour Guide Courses:

  1. IATA/UFTAA Career Development Programs- Various Cities
  2. Trade Wings- Mumbai
  3. Delhi University- New Delhi
  4. Sophia Polytechnic- Mumbai
  5. Kurukshetra University- Haryana
  6. Sita Worlds Travels- Mumbai and New Delhi
  7. Agra University- Agra
  8. Sri Venkateshwara University- Chitoor
  9. Banaras Hindu University- Varanasi
  10. Skyline Business School- New Delhi
  11. Bangalore University- Bangalore
  12. Himachal University- Shimla
  13. University of Madras- Chennai
  14. Pune University- Pune
  15. University of Calcutta- Kolkata
  16. Mumbai University- Mumbai
  17. Goa University- Panaji
  18. Sita Academy- New Delhi

Personal Characteristics required for tourist guide:

Not only knowledge works every time, the job of tourist guide demands more than that. This follows:

  • Pleasing, positive personality.
  • Good communication skills with a narrative way of explaining things.
  • Always updated and keen to know more.
  • Extrovert and friendly nature.
  • The ability of problem-solving and helpful nature.
  • Physically fit and must have basic knowledge of first- aid.

Also Read: Working: Creative ways to save money while traveling

Other aspects of tourism jobs:

If anyhow you fail to become a tourist guide, do not bother. If your heart connects to tourism and you need to be in touch with traveling, your door does not close after tourist guide. There are many more options for jobs in the field of tourism.

Here is a quick look at the list of tourism jobs:

Travel Agent:

Do not only travel alone, make the world travel with you. You can be the middleman. Arrange the travel facilities like airlines, hotels, car rentals, etc. to the public on behalf of service providers.

Tour Operator:

Take challenges and earn experience in the travel field. Come out as an entrepreneur. Become a tour operator. Own the services for the betterment of tourists.

Hospitality:

It is a large field of the carrier in itself. Try your hand out in hotels and restaurants.


Airlines:

If not only land, you want to conquer the skies then this is your world. There are many job opportunities in airlines too.

These are the few options that will keep you in the world of travel, keeping you in touch with your desire of traveling from time to time. Stay tuned to know more and let us know your queries, further in such fields. We answer to them too.

Review: Adventure course at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering- A must on your list.

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