Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S., with a 7.2% growth rate, according to the Department of Commerce. Planing vacations for others is a great possibility to make real money and do something that you love. A luxury travel advisor can go from a starting career to earning millions after just a few years into the business. Of course, any job is challenging in the beginning, but with the right advice and guidance your career can flourish.
A successful travel adviser must have good interpersonal skills, because the job involves relating to people from a wide range of cultures, excellent sales and time management abilities. Having previous experience in sales, retail or in the travel and tourism industry can be a plus. Usually there is no specific entry requirement to become a travel advisor, due tot the fact that the skills are learned on the job. Some agencies prefer trainees with a level 2 NCEA. Students who participate in the Aviation, Tourism and Travel Training Organization’s Gateway travel program can earn both NCEA credits and experience.
The most important quality a luxury travel advisor must posses is a passion for travel as a lifestyle. If you don’t love to travel yourself, how can you share the excitement with other people? Clients who seek out an advisor spend more money, therefore you must have the ability to deliver a product that will make their life and planning better and easier. Experienced professionals know that 80% of the satisfaction comes from booking with a travel advisor and only 20% when booking online. If you make a good impression, customers will recommend you to their friends and acquaintances.
In order to establish a good planning process with the client, you need to inspire confidence, capability and you must be aware of your own value. Aligning with an agency or travel consortium can bring tour operator, cruise line and hotel benefits for both yourself and the clients. Furthermore, resorts programs offer exclusive amenities. Many agencies have training programs and annual conferences that are great ways to learn sales skills and to network with other professionals.
After you begin the career transition, subscribe to trade magazines and online newsletters such as Travel Agent, Vacantion Agent, Luxury Travel Advisor and Travelage West, so yo are always aware of what is going on. Social media is a great tool that can be used for advertising purposes. Because it is a competitive market, you must find innovative and creative marketing strategies. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are modern ways of direct marketing used by many professionals.
A luxury travel advisor doesn’t need much to succeed. The most important thing is to effectively communicate your value to the clients so a successful relationship based on trust is created.