Virtual Kollage: The qualities of a good travel agent

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The qualities of a good travel agent


 Businessman, Computer, Professional
THE QUALITIES OF A TRAVEL AGENT
Definition of a travel agent
A travel agent is a person who has taken it upon him or herself to help people procure things such as travelling documents, air tickets, hotel reservations, tour packages and many other services those travelers, tourists and holiday makers need. Usually but not always, travel agents establish travel agencies from where they render their services to their clients.

QUALITIES OF A TRAVEL AGENT
Resourcefulness
One of the good qualities of a travel agent is that he must be resourceful. In their line of work, things could change at short notice. A flight could be cancelled, a client could miss his flight or may forget his or her luggage, the procurement of a particular document may delay, etc. The travel agent must have the ability to find a quick and intelligent way to alleviate any inconvenience that may have been caused and also solve any problems that may have occurred in good time.

Honesty/integrity
Another good quality of a travel agent is that he or she must be an honest person and his or her integrity must above board. If for example, there is a delay in securing or getting something ready, the travel agent must be honest with the client in relaying the notification to him or her. There is no need to lie in order to buy time because it may be too late and the prospective traveller may face more inconveniences.

Expectation management skills
Travellers expect that whatever they require, the travel agent must be able to get it for them for as long as the services are listed in their advertisement. A good travel agent must be able to manage the expectations of the client. This way, even where there are hiccups, the traveller can still manage the situation and get a solution before the travel date. For example, if a document would be ready in two weeks according to the schedule at one embassy, the travel agent may tell the client it would be ready in three weeks. Where there is a delay, the agent can still have a week within which he or she can maneuver.

Good understanding of ICT
A good travelling agent must have ICT skills. The world is now technologically advanced in many fronts including the world of tourism. Tickets could be bought online, reservations can be made online, advertisements can be made online and a host of other things can be accomplished online without having to move an inch. He or she also needs to keep records of the company’s activities and this can be done on the computer. A good knowledge of computer and the world-wide-web will therefore be useful to the travel agent hence the need for him to be computer and internet literate.

 Marketing skills
The travel agent must also possess marketing skills. He must be able to market what he is doing in order to attract clients. If not the clients will just trickle in based on chance. However, if he or she is able to market his services and his company very well, there would work all year round since people travel throughout the year and there are events throughout the world round.

Good communication skills
The travel agent must have very good communication skills. In their line of work, they come across people with diverse backgrounds and levels of exposure. A good travel agent must know how to communicate with all of them. When there is any misunderstanding, a good travel agent must be able handle the situation with all the tact in the world to maintain his clientele base.
  
Timeliness
Again, the travel agent must be time conscious in all his dealings with the client. In tourism, time is of great essence. There is a time to check-in at the airport, time to check into a hotel, time to be on a bus for a trip, etc. He or she must ensure that the client is not delayed. If there is any delay, it must be coming from the client, this way the travel agent cannot be blamed.
  
SAMPLE QUESTION(S)
1. a. Who is a travel agent?
    b. Highlight six qualities of a good travelling agent.

ALSO READ:
The functions of a travel agency

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