In the Age of Google, it’s become a lot easier to book travel online. We can compare prices across different sites in just a few seconds, and often find cheaper deals than what our local travel agent can offer. As such, the role of the travel agent has changed quite a bit in recent years. But that doesn’t mean their career is doomed. In fact, with the right set of skills and strategies, you could make your travel agent’s career great again. Here are eight ways to do so:
Host Travel Exchanges
The first item on our list is hosting travel exchanges. While travel exchanges aren’t exactly new, they’re growing in popularity. In fact, they’ve become so prevalent in some parts of the travel industry that they’ve been named “new normal.” If you’re not familiar with travel exchanges, they’re when travel agents get together with their clients to plan out their own itineraries. Travel exchanges give agents the opportunity to share ideas, get more insight into their clients’ needs, and make a stronger connection with them. They’re also a great way for agents to earn extra income and offer their clients better deals. They can also help you learn more about your client’s business and gain valuable insight from the inside.
Become a digital expert
Another way to make your travel agent’s career great again is to become a digital expert. It’s no secret that the way people book travel has changed drastically over the past few years. Now, most people book their travel online, and it’s a trend that isn’t slowing down any time soon. That’s why it’s essential for travel agents to become experts in the digital world. You need to know what sites and apps your clients are using, and you should be able to use them effectively. As such, it’s important that you stay on top of the latest trends in the online booking world. You should also be prepared to learn new skills and technologies as they emerge. And don’t just focus on booking travel — it’s important to understand the entire travel journey.
Earn your travel stripes
If you want to make your travel agent’s career great again, you need to earn your travel stripes. That doesn’t mean you need years of experience or an advanced degree, but it does mean you need to show that you’re dedicated to the industry, knowledgeable about travel, and competent in your role. To do this, you first need to get an idea of the various skills and specialties that travel agents can specialize in. For example, you can specialize in certain destinations, types of travel, or types of customers. Developing an expertise in one or more areas of travel will make you a more valuable and attractive travel agent. Once you’ve identified your area of focus, you need to show that you’re serious about it. For example, you can earn your stripes by getting involved in the travel industry. You can do this by attending conferences, joining professional organizations, and connecting with industry leaders.
Establish a diverse network
If you want to make your travel agent’s career great again, it’s important to build a diverse network of people and resources. In an age where it’s become easier than ever to book travel online, it’s essential for travel agents to build their network. To start, you need to make sure you’re leveraging your relationships with your clients. If you’re currently booking travel for clients, you likely have a strong relationship with them. If so, you should be leveraging that relationship to build your network and get new clients. If you aren’t booking travel for clients, you can still build relationships with them. You can do this by asking questions, actively listening, and communicating with them in a genuine and helpful way.
Offer exclusive benefits with loyalty programs
If you want to make your travel agent’s career great again, you should offer exclusive benefits with loyalty programs. Most travel agents use some form of loyalty program, whether it’s a rewards program, points-based system, or something like Hilton HHonors or Marriott Rewards. Loyalty programs are a great way for agents to build a relationship with their clients. By offering exclusive benefits, you can increase the value of your loyalty program and make it more attractive to your clients. For example, you can offer additional benefits, early-bird specials, or other rewards that go above and beyond what your clients would normally receive.
Grow your travel brand
If you want to make your travel agent’s career great again, you should also grow your travel brand. A travel brand is essentially a promise to your clients that they’ll receive something of value from working with you. It’s a way of communicating to your clients that you have a strong identity and offer something unique and special. Travel brands are incredibly valuable because they help establish trust with customers. If you’ve developed a strong brand, your customers will know what they’re getting from you and will trust you more. You can grow your travel brand in a few different ways. First, you can choose a name and brand that resonates with your customers. You can also design a logo and create a unique visual identity for your brand. Finally, you can create a memorable tagline that captures what your brand is all about.
Offer consistent customer service and build relationships
If you want to make your travel agent’s career great again, you need to offer consistent customer service and build relationships. One of the most important things you can do to make your travel agent’s career great again is to establish a relationship with your customers. Relationships are key to success in the travel industry, and they’re what will set you apart from other agents. To build relationships with your customers, you need to go above and beyond. This means being patient, empathetic, and responsive, and always putting your customers’ needs before your own.
Find a niche and own it
The last thing you can do to make your travel agent’s career great again is to find a niche and own it. By finding a niche and owning it, we mean finding a specific area of the travel industry that you specialize in. For example, you might specialize in group travel, or maybe you focus on luxury destinations. Owning a niche allows you to become the go-to expert in your field. It also gives you more opportunities to stand out from other travel agents and makes you more attractive to customers.
Finally, to make your travel agent’s career great again, you need to host travel exchanges, become a digital expert, earn your travel stripes, establish a diverse network, offer exclusive benefits with loyalty programs, grow your travel brand, and find a niche and own it. Once you’ve achieved these things, you’ll be able to make your travel agent’s career great again.