If you are the type of a person who loves travelling and scanning hotels, best places to visit, flights etc. the thought of becoming an independent travel agent might have popped on your mind once in a while. But you probably thought who will need a travel agent in this modern world? Well, it turns out that a lot of people use travel agents way more than you can expect. Travelers always feel more comfortable traveling to a foreign country after they have consulted a travel agent. It is easier for them to live the logistics with another person. But just because you love travelling a lot, it does not mean you can magically become the best travel agent in London. Becoming an independent travel agent and a successful one needs more than just loving to travel. I did some research, talked to some people who have already made it as travel agents and I compiled some tips that will help you become a successful agent and with time help you begin a successful business travel agency. Check out some of the tips on how to become a travel agent :
1. Asses your skills as well as your time.
The very first thing you need to do before taking down the path of a travel agent is taking your time and assessing yourself and determining if you have whatever it takes to become a travel agent and start your own your own business. As I have already told you, to become a travel agent you need more than loving to travel. You need to be a very hardworking man, a person who has the energy and willingness to work. You also need to have a customer service mentality that the customer is always right, have great communication skills as well as good with computers. Not like a hacker or anything like that, but you need at least the basic skills of using a computer. And because a business travel agency is like a sales business, you need to have some sales and marketing skills. Ask yourself if you have enough funds to start this business and in addition to funds, ask yourself if you have all the time to give your clients the attention they deserve. Do you have the heart to wait until your business starts to pay off or will give up in the middle? Are prepared not to travel as you are used to in the beginning of your career? If you have all those skills and you are ready to venture in this business and you should give it a shot.
2. Try it out.
Don’t just depend on the internet to provide you with all the information that you may need. Yes the internet is a good source of information but you will need to get some details first hand so that you can really know how the whole experience is like. Talk to a business agent or two once in a while and get to know how it is really like to become an independent travel agent and run your own business. You can even decide to work as intern in a successful agency for 3 to 4 months and get to learn from experience because as they say, experience is the best teacher. While working as an intern, try to learn by listening, helping, pick up the calls etc. just do anything and everything that will help you gain some experience as a travel agent. There are so many successful agencies that you can work for as an intern, choose the best one and begin your journey.
Take your time and research for the best host agency as well as other things. You can’t just jump into the market without doing some research right? Find out the legal requirements that you must meet before you start a travel agency in your area. Research about everything that you need to know before starting a travel agency.
4. Start small.
You need to identify your target audience and how you can reach out to them. Find a niche you are passionate about and specialize in it. People nowadays love personalized customer service and they prefer working with a travel agent who has specialized on a particular niche. You can choose scuba diving niche if you are passionate about it, or Caribbean trips, trips to Africa etc. just choose a niche that you are going to be comfortable with once you start your business. Once you have identified your niche, start recommending people in groups and social media or if you have a website of the best places they can visit in your niche, where they can stay and probably the best food they can eat there. Start building your clientele slow by slow.
5. Get proper training.
Becoming a successful travel agent is not just something you wake you wake up today and decide I am going to be a travel agent. You need training and you will need a lot of it. Find schools near you that teach about travel industry and if you don’t feel like going back to school, find an agency that has offers a training program and enroll. If you have already done some research on your own, it is going to take you less time to learn and when you feel like you have learnt all that needs to be learned, feel free to leave. There are also some associations that offers online training so if you don’t feel like going to school each and every day you might want consider learning from home.
5- Think about marketing and branding.
This is actually one of the most important part of any business and starting a business travel agency is no different. You need to choose an excellent name for your business and you need to market it like you are never going to market it again.
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