6 Reasons Why Travel Agents Love The Industry | Travel Research Online


6 Reasons Why Travel Agents Love The Industry

Everyone has up days and down days. There are days when you want to throw in the towel and others that make it all worthwhile. If you need proof of that just read some of the entries in our Travel Agent Diary series.  Earlier this week, someone asked me what excited me about this industry, and it was a terrific refresher course for me and it was a piece of cake to come up with these six reasons why I am still so jazzed about the travel industry.

  1. We are a happy business. Really, we are not car mechanics telling people that to keep their car running it will be $1000. We are not cancer doctors who are usually the bearer of bad news. We are a happy business and for the most part, our customers are happy. They want to talk with us. They want to spend their money with us. They want us to give them an experience they will cherish for a lifetime.
  2. We are a helpful industry. While I have not been involved in that many industries, I can say that as a whole, we are very helpful. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I have relied on my colleagues (either at the next desk or across the country) for advice and recommendations. And for the most part, it was good advice given freely and with a smile. What we lack in salary, I believe we pay forward in karma!
  3. Resources and tools are plentiful. One does not need to look hard to find any resources you need to effectively do you job. Right off the top of my head I can think of forums like the TRO Community, the Travel Agent Success Series, and facebook. And I have not even tapped into the supplier and association provided tools that run the gamut from basic to incredibly complex.
  4. Incentives and perks are great. Well, I need to admit they are not as plentiful as they had been in the past, but what other industry allows you the opportunity to see the world at a discount (or free if you produce enough)? And I find that the suppliers who truly support the agent channel go out of their way to incentivize the agencies and agents who produce.
  5. The continuing education opportunities are fantastic. I have always believed that one cannot be a citizen of the world without having explored it. As an industry, we have that opportunity before us every single day. Certainly all of us are unable to explore all corners of the world in person, but we have an opportunity to explore parts of the world that are simply not available to others. And for those hard to get to spots, we can always rely on our colleagues to travel vicariously through first hand destination reports.
  6. The vendors rock. OK, there are some that don’t; but for the most part, the major travel vendors understand that for this travel thing to work, they need agents and agencies helping them. Sure they take direct bookings, but we can all understand why. Sure they have cut commissions, but in this economy, we can all understand why. Overall, the vendors realize how valuable we are to putting food on their table. On how many earnings calls have you heard Mickey Arison rebuked the “experts” who tell him to eliminate commissions. Mickey is a sharp cookie and knows that following the airline’s lead would be a folly!

I could go on. Compared to some in the industry, I am still a newbie and I am so thankful for all of the opportunities it has presented to me and my family.  I know you love it—or hopefully you would have bailed out. What really gets you excited about the business? Please leave a comment!


  6 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why Travel Agents Love The Industry

  1. Linda Furlan, ECC says:

    Outstanding article, John – and I agree wholeheartedly! I particularly love the “salary vs. karma” reference; priceless – and true! The only thing I would add is something you touched-on in Point #1: giving our clients the experience of a lifetime. That, to me, is the highlight of what I do…who I am: a Dream Maker, of sorts. Being the “architect” of one’s travel dreams is a privilege I take very seriously, and enjoy immensely; it’s what – 32 years later – keeps me coming back for more!

  2. There’s just something magical about creating a travel experience that you clients could have never imagined. I sell Africa. And anyone that’s been knows it’s a more than once in a lifetime experience. I love this industry!

  3. Paula Lockyer says:

    Great article, you nailed it on every angle. I think the top attraction to me in this underpaid and overworked industry is that I can pursue my passion, share my passion, sell my passion and find vicarious passion in the thrill of my client’s trips of a lifetime. When I talk with my clients about somewhere I’ve been and know extremely well (Hawaii for eg.) they can feel my energy and they often comment on it. That’s what sells them, not the brochure. We aren’t selling widgets, we’re selling ourselves and our passion for travel. I believe life is all about finding joy in the things you are passionate about, and being passionate about things that bring you joy. For me, travel and selling travel is definitely in my passion/joy zone.

  4. J. Carter says:

    The absolute best for me is researching the “very best” trip that I can offer and then living the trip vicariously through them.
    The perks are not as great any more. Suppliers have forgotten that when we (as travel agents) get more FAM trips..especially trips we’d have a tough time affording.. we sell that passion better than anyone. Keep giving us the passion!!

  5. vilma macioce says:

    I agree with Paula Lockyer’s comments about the “passion” for travel. I’ve been in the business for just over 11 years now but always had a passion for being in the travel business since a teenager. However, before this, I worked in a number of different indudustries as an Executive Assistant to a number of high position Executives making considerably more and steady money compared to now but can I say that I had the same passion in that kind of work? Definitely not. I am very happy now doing what I always wanted to do, doing it from home and on my own time. I’m a saggitarian too & according to my horoscope (for those who believe) saggitarians love to travel. I find clients really listen when you speak about a destination with that excitement & spark in your eyes and voice. I also agree with J. Carter’s comments that agents do need more reduced rate &/or free FAMS from suppliers. It encourages us to see destinations we’ve never been to before to better sell it, encourages us to take on new specialties &/or niche markets, and overall broadens our knowledge horizons.

  6. T.S. says:

    the continuing education aspect for the travel industry is probably my #1 reason why i think that travel agents are so useful. When you already know the latest events and important news about a location and the best times to travel, you have an advantage to enjoying life and helping others to as well.

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