To anyone who is contemplating a career (or 2nd career) as a travel agent, I would say welcome to an exciting and fun industry. You will use your enthusiasm, creativity, insight and business acumen to build a successful travel practice. However, like every other business in today’s world it is extremely competitive. You must be serious about how much work and effort you are willing to put in. Extreme dedication to customer service is absolutely critical. The Internet has created the need to specialize. You must become a expert in some travel niche whether that is a destination, mode of travel (cruises, trains, tours, etc) or specific group or people. The key is that the Internet allows you to craft your client mix via target marketing.
I would also advise to check out training provided by travel industry sources. There are three industry sources to help you with the travel industry knowledge you will require to successfully establish a travel practice.
* CLIA – This is the cruise industry organization that offers travel agent education – Here is the link: http://www.cruising.org/travelagents
* The Travel Institute – This is a travel education organization that encompasses the entire industry. They offer hundreds of courses and trainings. Here is the link: http://thetravelinstitute.com/
* ASTA - The American Society of Travel Agents is the leading advocacy group for travel agents. They have a very large library of webinars and training. Personal Note: I have produced 2 webinars on SEO and Online Marketing for ASTA. Here is the link: http://www.asta.org/Education/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1681&navItemNumber=610
* Vendor Training – Almost all of the major tour and cruise vendors provide training and marketing assistance. Contact your preferred travel and cruise vendor sales departments to inquire how they can help you generate sales.
For a complete guide about branding yourself as a travel expert online I would suggest you take a look at my FREE e-Book “Travel Agents Attack Online Marketing.” You can download the e-book from: http://www.travelblogproject.com
Enjoy the journey,