What does a travel agent do?

Working with clients and tourists, travel agents help to plan, book and budget their trip. The role of a travel agent is to gain an understanding of the expectations and preferences of a traveller and sourcing the best flights, tours, accomodation and transportation to meet their needs. They are also responsible for providing information on visa requirements, health risks, currency and insurance options for the destination country, as well as helping to coordinate activities and organise services such as guides, drivers and translators on arrival.

Tasks:

  • Understand the needs of a client
  • Provide information on travel and accomodation
  • Use systems to book flights
  • Provide travel insurance options
  • Help prepare itineraries

What skills do I need to be a travel agent?

Being a travel agent requires constant contact with a wide range of travellers and tourism professionals. To be a successful travel agent, you’ll need great communication skills and a friendly demeanor. You’ll also need good organisational skills in order to help travellers with their itineraries and to ensure all their booking information is processed and accurate. Travel agents must also be quite savvy when it comes to using online booking systems, and when researching destinations and accommodation.  

Skills/attributes
  • Good web skills
  • Ability to communicate well
  • Great organisational skills
  • A friendly personality
  • Pragmatic thinking

Specialisations

There are a number of specialisations in the tourism industry that you could embark on if a career as a travel agent appeals to you. 

Tour guide

Tour guides give their clients an in-depth tour of cities and landmarks around the world. They usually tend to work with groups of travellers who are seeking insight into the history and culture of their new surroundings. They often operate within a touring company that specialises in one city or route, allowing them to build their professional knowledge of the sights and sounds of their city.

Airline passenger officer

Airline passenger officers provide a face-to-face service at airports, assisting travellers with boarding, check in, luggage information and general enquiries. Airline passenger officers are there to help travellers with their flights, aiming to make the experience as easy and enjoyable for their customers as possible.

Tourism information officer

Tourism information officers provide an informative service to those travelling to foreign cities. Information officers can provide useful knowledge for navigating a new city, finding popular landmarks and guiding travellers to useful resources. Tourism information officers ensure tourists are able to find their way and have an enjoyable travelling experience.

Study pathways for travel agents

There are a number of courses available for you if you are considering a career in tourism. Holding an industry recognised qualification will stand you in good stead for finding employment in your chosen field. 

Getting Started

Find your feet in the bustling tourism industry with comprehensive courses

Skill Building

Build your knowledge of the ins-and-outs of travel and tourism

Professional Development

Learn industry skills to kickstart your tourism career

Industry Recognition

Some senior positions within the tourism sector will require you to undertake formal training and police/background checks. Registering with the Australian Federation of Travel Agents may help you find employment and advance your career.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your tourism career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

There is strong growth forecasted for employment opportunities as a travel agent over the next five years.