Tourism Regarded as an economic and social activity, tourism represents, through its content and role, a distinct field of activity, a highly important component of the economic and social life in a growing number of countries. Travel business is a complex concept as the industry includes many activities, which together produce the tourist product that is travel experience. It is also complex due to various sub-sectors of the tourist products. Tourism is a single industry but it is made of different industries such as hotel, airlines, travel agency, trekking agency etc.
Tourism is a specific phenomenon in modern civilization and it is deeply rooted in the life of the society and, as such, it has influenced its evolution. Thus, being responsive to the dynamic changes in contemporary civilization, tourism evolves under their impact, joining the general process of development. The tourism and hospitality industry is currently one of the most important industries worldwide. The Alba County takes full advantage of highly favorable and more than adequate conditions for the development of different forms of tourism. A fortunate day came in the history of travel trade when in 1841, Thomas Cook as secretary of the South Midland Temperance Association, organized a trip by train for 570 members of his association to a distance of 22 miles. He bought railway tickets in bulk to sell them back to the people. The experiment was successful and everybody was exultant. Initially Cook had done his job on a no profit basis. But, incidentally, it gave him a new idea and he turned it into a tour business. Four years later, in 1845, he set up the ‘World’s First Travel Agency’ to organize excursions. Due to this innovative approach, Thomas Cook is known as the Father of the Travel Agency Business. He coordinated railway and steamship excursions throughout England, Scotland and Europe. Travel business is an economic activity, which is related with continuous and regular buying and selling of travel related services for satisfying human wants. Travel industry has been agreed as a service industry. In tourism, service is anything which is provided to the traveler to travel, stay and involve in tourism activity. Travel has fascinated human beings throughout the ages. During the past time travel was there but ‘tourism’ was not there. Because travel was not undertaken for the purpose of pleasure and their motive was not to seek holiday from the daily routine works. When people learned to differentiate between work and leisure then tourism started. When business agencies were developed to sale travel related services then tourism industry started and travel business flourished. Travel agents help their clients make travel plans. In addition to booking reservations, they assist customers in choosing their destination, transportation, and lodging and inform travelers of passport and visa requirements, rates of currency exchange, and import duties. Wholesale travel agents specialize in organizing tours and then selling them to retail travel agencies who in turn, sell on to travelers. Many tours also include optional side trips and activities that have to be planned carefully. Wholesale travel agents must have good marketing skills to interest retail travel agents in the tours they have developed. Retail travel agents offer advice to the general public. They provide travelers with timetables and travel literature, compute fare costs and make reservations, and sell tours developed by the wholesale travel organizations. In large travel agencies, agents may specialize in specific geographic areas; in smaller agencies, travel agents have a broader range of responsibilities.
This job is all about the customer and helping to find and organize their dream holiday, so travel agents need to have finely tuned customer service skills, a passion for the travel industry and a friendly, approachable manner.
Arranging flights, insurance and accommodation
Using a booking system to secure holidays
Collecting and processing payments
Advising clients on travel arrangements, e.g. visas and passports
Sending out tickets to clients
Keeping clients up to date with any changes
Dealing with complaints or refunds (not one of the perks, but someone’s got to do it)
Skills and qualities
Passionate interest in geography, strong domestic and international travel knowledge.
Excellent command of both written and spoken English.
Strong numeric skills.
Ability to multitask and quickly interpret complex information.
Ability to build strong relationships with clients, both over the phone and face to face.
Skills to persuade customers and influence their decisions, both for their own benefit and that of the agency.
Exceptionally high levels of motivation, working both independently and as part of a team.
Proficient internet research skills for customer information.
Ability to work in a target-based environment and to achieve sales goals and objectives.
Ability to assimilate information and to pay close attention to accuracy and detail.
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