The field of Travel can be one of the most exciting and at the same time one of the most demanding. Most positions in this field require people to travel constantly from one place to another, sometimes for extended periods of time. Many professionals in this field agree that the best part of working in Travel is getting the chance to meet and work with people from different parts of the world and interacting with all kinds of different cultures.
The main duty of any professional in this field is to get people from one place of the world to another and helping them have an excellent experience. Whether they work with air, ground, or water transportation, Travel professionals excel at bringing different cultures together and helping people discover new places. They may be employed by private companies such as airlines, cruise lines, travel agencies, or the Federal Government.
Travel professionals are usually responsible for the following:
- Being at the travelers’ service, always displaying a great attitude.
- Issuing and selling travel tickets, sometimes providing hotel reservation services and other accommodation options for their customers.
- Helping passengers with inquiries or complaints, including reservation changes and cancellations.
- Adhering to strict security measures and procedures, as well as international safety regulations.
- Tending to the needs of passengers and tourists, especially those who require special attention (e.g. people with low or reduced mobility, people traveling with pets, or unaccompanied minors).
- Using global ticket issuing computer systems to schedule, book, and sell commercial flights all around the world.
- In some cases, using specialized machinery and equipment.
All professionals working in the Travel field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Displaying outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
- Having a genuine love of people and being genuinely friendly.
- Having excellent organizational abilities and great analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Being safety conscious.
- Having high levels of initiative, resourcefulness, flexibility, patience, and compromise.
- Being sales-oriented.
- Being able to work with people of different backgrounds and cultures.
- Being able to work in stressful environments and situations.
- Having good administrative and computer skills.
- Having good leadership skills and being able to work as part of a team.
- Being knowledgeable in at least two languages, Spanish and French being the most usually requested ones along with English.
Most entry-level jobs in the Travel field don’t require extensive education. However, most companies usually prefer to hire candidates with a college or university degree in Tourism, Business, Catering, or Hospitality, as well as with work experience or firsthand contact with the culture they are involved. The only positions that demand specialized training are those that include operating heavy machinery, such as Deck Officers.
The Travel industry is mostly focused on three aspects: safety, sales, and customer service. It is the job of companies such as airlines and cruise lines to guarantee the well-being of their passengers and the good handling of their cargo. They must abide and adhere to several national and international regulations to reach this goal. For the sales aspect of the industry, companies must follow Federal Laws that regulate the trade, as well as their own policies. Finally, there’s the customer service aspect. Travel agencies, airlines, tour operators, and cruise ships all sell a service to their customers; therefore, it is of the utmost importance that all Travel professionals offer a top-notch customer service and make people feel comfortable, cared for, and grateful. Sometimes, outside forces may change travel arrangements for passengers and it is the company’s duty to help them find a suitable solution that benefits both parties.
Travel professionals also need to work in a methodical and careful manner. Designing intricate itineraries for passengers that need connecting flights requires extensive planning and detailing, adapting to travelers’ budget and desires. There are a lot of factors that can affect a time schedule which need to be considered at all times, such as times of departure, arrivals, the time it might take to make a connection, as well as weather conditions.
Working in Travel requires good disposition, energy, and a can-do attitude. Some jobs can be quite taxing on people. It is not uncommon to work long shifts during weekdays, weekends, and even national holidays. Some jobs within the Travel industry will require employees to travel long distances or for long periods of time. This can greatly affect normal family or social life, so applicants must be aware of this. However, such an effort won’t be in vain, since many companies offer generous paid vacations to their employees after working non-stop for several months.
Working with travelers is a great way to connect with people and to feel like a part of a global community. It broadens people’s horizons, opens their minds and hearts to new and different cultures, and lets them learn new things every day.