Travel Agent

Travel Agent

Travel Agents (also known as Travel Consultants or Tourism and Travel Advisors) organise travel and accommodation for clients and tourists, where duties can include providing quotes and making bookings.  The average salary of a Travel Agent is $46,872 per annum.

As a Travel Agent, you’ll assist in making travel arrangements for both business and holiday purposes, using your knowledge of destinations and products to give quality advice.

Salary range
Average salary $46,872
salary range
$40,623
$46,872
$53,122
Source: SEEK
Projected job growth
29% by 2020
29%
2015
2020
Source: joboutlook.gov.au
Employment by region
The top three regions for employment as a Travel Agent are:
NSW
NSW 34.3%
VIC
VIC 23.3%
QLD
QLD 20.7%
Source: joboutlook.gov.au

Key skills required

The top skills for a Travel Agent are:
  • Good communication skills
  • Strong customer focus
  • Good organisational skills
  • Strong computer skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • High level of personal presentation
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Strong sales focus
Source: myfuture.edu.au
Career pathway planner
Starting out
Starting out

Let your travel career take flight and gain the skills you’ll need to become a Travel Agent.

This self-paced course includes a practical component so you will feel workplace ready upon completion.

  • Certificate III in Travel (SIT31312) 
Moving up in the industry
Moving up in the industry

Improve your job prospects and study a diploma that could open doors for you in the travel and tourism industry.

Learn the skills you’ll need to explore managerial roles, and become confident in managing excellent customer service and leading a team.

  • Diploma of Travel and Tourism (SIT50112) 

Travel Agent job description

What does a Travel Agent do?

Travel Agents provide an intermediary service between clients and suppliers to plan leisure and business travel arrangements.

These services may range from straightforward tasks such as booking direct flights to coordinating entire travel experiences including itineraries, accommodation, transport, tours and visas.

As a Travel Agent, your key responsibility will be to simplify the process of arranging travel for your clients using your knowledge of the industry. Travel Agents provide expert advice, secure the best value options for their clients, and ensure they have a positive travel experience.

Travel Agents may specialise in a particular field such as domestic travel, international travel, corporate travel, or tours. Specialities can also be destination-specific, usually based on a Travel Agent’s familiarity with a particular region.

Most Travel Agents work in a sales environment in a retail travel agency, call centre or online agency, and make a commission on the bookings made.

Daily tasks for a Travel Consultant

As a Travel Agent, your daily tasks will include:

  • Liaising with clients in person, over the phone or via email to discuss their travel requirements.
  • Advising clients on suitable options for domestic or international destinations, tours, accommodation, transport, insurance and fares.
  • Preparing customised itineraries to suit the clients’ preferences and budget.
  • Making and confirming bookings, often via a Global Distribution System (computerised central reservation system).
  • Issuing tickets or relevant documents.
  • Providing up to date advice on travel regulations including visa and medical requirements, baggage limits, safety and local customs.
  • Modifying existing bookings to suit a change in clients’ circumstances.
  • Researching destinations and keeping up to date with travel industry news.
  • Ongoing training with other team members and management. 

To learn about the skills, traits and training needed to be a successful Travel Agent, read our tips on how to become a Travel Agent.

Working hours of an Travel Agent

Travel Agents employed by an agency usually work retail trading hours, which can include weekends and evenings. In a call centre environment, a Travel Agent may be rostered to work shifts during extended business hours and weekends. Some overtime may be required during peak travel seasons.

What is the difference between a Travel Agent and a Travel Consultant?

In Australia, the term ‘Travel Agent’ is often used interchangeably with ‘Travel Consultant’, referring to an individual as a employee of a travel agency.

'Travel Agent' is also sometimes used in reference to a business that provides travel and tourism services to customers on behalf of suppliers such as airlines, hotels and tour operators.  

How to become a Travel Agent

Are you interested in becoming a Travel Agent? There are certain skills, attributes and techniques you’ll need to master if you plan on embarking on a career in the travel industry.

A Travel Agent provides information, guidance and advice for people wishing to travel, while researching new destinations to ensure they are on top of the latest trends and locations. A large part of the role involves planning and costing travel itineraries, issuing tickets and assisting customers when changes to travel bookings need to be made. Read more about the job description of a Travel Agent.

What technical & professional skills do I need to become a Travel Agent?

As a Travel Agent, it's important that you are a strong multitasker who can listen to client requests, manage their travel plans and suggest travel options that will best suit their needs. You'll also need to have strong sales skills, as much of your success will be determined by the travel sales you secure.

While you don’t need a licence to work as a Travel Agent, formal training will put you in a strong position stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for jobs.

As most employers prefer their staff to have previous experience in the travel industry, a qualification such as a Certificate III in Travel or a Diploma of Travel and Tourism (SIT50112) is an ideal way to gain experience if you haven’t worked in the industry before. 

As SEEK Learning Consultant Rachel Armstrong explains, “A travel or tourism qualification will teach you valuable skills using the computer reservations system used for making travel bookings, preparing quotes and destination knowledge.”

While a Certificate provides you with an entry point and the practical skills you’ll need to get your foot in the door, a Diploma will prepare you for managerial roles in the travel industry and teach you skills relevant to related fields such as hospitality and events.

Your own travel experience will also be used to your advantage. Travelling as much as possible (or a long history in travel) can strengthen your geographical knowledge and provide you with valuable first-hand insights.

What will I need to start my own travel agency?

If owning your own travel business interests you, there are a number of steps you should consider before embarking on this career goal. Writing up a business plan will help give you direction and plan out your business’ future. It’s also important that you get an accreditation from the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS).

Should I become a Travel Agent?

To be a successful Travel Agent, you will need to have:

  • good communication skills
  • the ability to multitask
  • general computer skills
  • an aptitude for geography
  • basic mathematics skills
  • patience

Whether you’re a well-heeled traveller or an armchair explorer, a passion for travel is a must if you want to succeed in the industry. Alongside this, strong people skills and a focus on customer service are all important traits too.

Josh Dyer, Senior Travel Consultant at Melbourne-based agency The Friendly Group, says the best Travel Agents he knows are “customer driven, and able to funnel their passion through their love of helping each and every uniquely different person”.

“Quite often you will be juggling many detailed itineraries and dealing with customers and suppliers in order to secure dates and ensure smooth transitioning, so organisation and multitasking skills are essential,” adds Josh.