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Business and leisure are the two main areas of travel consultant jobs. Within these two basic types, many subtype specialty areas exist, such as corporate, family, educational and adventure travel consulting. Travel agents or consultants may work in an agency or own their own traditional or home-based travel business. All travel consultant jobs involve interviewing clients and planning transportation and accommodation that meet each client’s vacation desires or work needs.
A business travel consultant or agent may be a convention and employment travel specialist. Corporate travel consultant jobs many involve handling several accounts, such as large law firms or technology corporations. Corporate travel consultants or agents must understand the travel needs of each corporation and provide excellent customer service. Business travel consultant jobs often require keeping up to date with visa and passport requirements as well as experience with both international and domestic ticketing and booking.
Travel agents or consultants may work in large or small travel agencies or have their own businesses. The options include buying an existing business, partnering with another travel consultant or opening a new travel business. Today, many travel consulting jobs include having a home-based business, since bookings and other tasks can be done completely through the Internet in most cases. Travel consultants with home businesses must be able to market their services effectively to get enough clientele. Home-based travel consultants or agents may be able to make more than they did at a traditional agency, but they must have enough clients and the right industry connections, as the work is commission-based.
Travel consultant job openings are most successfully completed by consultants who travel themselves, as they are usually better able to give advice to clients on different cultures and climates. Many destinations feature travel opportunities designed only for travel agents or consultants in the hope that each consultant will recommend their product or service such as a hotel, cruise or tourist attraction. A leisure travel consultant often creates package deals that save customers money. A package vacation deal usually includes airfare and accommodation and may include tickets to attractions or events.
The designation of Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) or Certified Travel Associate (CTA) may be required for some travel consultant jobs in either leisure or business. These credentials are offered by the professional travel association, the Institute for Certified Travel Agents (ICTA). The CTA qualification requires 18 months of travel agency experience, while the CTC credential takes five years of experience in travel agencies.