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Travel Tourism

Travel Tourism
A travel professional is a person who provides service related to tourism to people. Most travel professionals operate as travel agencies. Their main objective is to make it easier for a tourist or a person interested in travelling to be able to access services. Such services include accommodation, transport, and guided tours among others. Because different people expect a different thing during their travel, the work of a travel professional is to tailor make each service to meet an individuals needs, (Singh, 2008).
For a person to become a travel professional they do not necessarily require any academic qualifications save for a high school diploma. However as the job requires a lot of use of the computer when making bookings among other things, it is necessary to be proficient in use of the computer. A degree or diploma in business related courses, public relations or communications would be an added advantage, (ASTA, 2012) Knowledge of foreign languages would also be helpful because a travel professional deals with people from different racial backgrounds. A sound knowledge of history and geography would also be helpful especially if one were to specialize in being a guide for the tourists. For individuals who would like to further their study degrees in travel and tourism are available or travel and tourism management. However most of the skills and knowledge needed for the job are acquired through experience, (Horner, 1998).
As for the skills necessary for the job, a person must have good communication skills as this is what the being a travel profession entails most. A person should also be friendly, possess good writing skills, and be accurate and well organized. An individual interested in this should also be able to multi task, be a quick thinker, and be able to work under pressure. This is because of peak seasons when tourists are in large numbers, (Singh, 2008)
An interview with a travel agent led to the following findings. The interviewee, a lady, liked the following most about her job. First off she enjoys discounts on travel fares, hotels, and tours among others. She mostly loves that she does what she has always wanted to do while having fun. The opportunity to tour places regularly is also a major advantage as she gets to learn new things each time. The disadvantages include long working hours especially during peak periods. Also there is no job security. Due to technology an increasing number of people are planning their holidays online as they can simply search destinations among other things. Essential skills for success include creativity. One must continually come up with new attractive ways of packaging their services so as to attract clients. One has to maintain a niche in the market. Another essential skill is the ability to relate well with clients in a professional and subtle manner to ensure they are satisfied at all times. The interviewee has been working in the industry for close to two years. Before becoming a travel professional she worked in a hotel as a manager. The fringe benefits of being a travel agent include a 10-15% discount on everything offered, paid holidays and a medical cover. She works on a full time basis. Her week comprises of a minimum of 48hours per week and could go as much as 60 hours depending on the workload. The hours of working are not so traditional. Some days are regular nine to five days while on some occasions she is required to report earlier, leave later or both.
The travel profession is a good one provided that one has a passion for it. This is because it is a dynamic field which is ever changing. The career outlook for the sector for the next ten years may experience a decline though a steady one. This is because internet services have made it possible for people to do most of the things travel professionals do. Booking of flights, hotels, tours and cruises is now possible. Complex trips will however remain a niche for travel professionals. Air tickets are becoming cheaper by the day and therefore there is still a target market for the industry. Those with better education however will still have better employment opportunities.

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