Travel agents carry out various tasks like making travel reservations; selling and describing travel destinations; and getting details for clients that cover routes, schedules, and costs. Agents also inform the clients if there is any change in their flight schedules or if any particular documents are required for their destination. These are the weekly duties of a travel agent in Alberta.
How to Become a Travel Agent in Alberta?
To become a travel agent, you need to have completed your high school education or equivalent and then pursue the relevant tourism course. As per the Alberta Occupational Profiles site, a travel agent in Alberta has an average hourly salary of $16.05.
Given below is an overview of the route to becoming a travel agent in Alberta:
Travel agent license Alberta
In Alberta’s province, there are no licenses that business owners require to open a travel agency. However, some municipalities or regions within the province will require you to obtain a business license if you will be operating a travel agency.
Acquire the Requisite Knowledge
Travel agents are expected to be good at fundamental mathematical abilities and communication skills. So, you are required to clear a high school diploma or the equivalent qualification as the first essential step of eligibility. Thereon, you can go for a course in tourism that focuses on training aspiring travel agents.
Besides, travel agents have to work with software systems related to the travel and tourism industry. Canadian Travel Agencies mainly deploy two reservation systems, namely SABRE and Apollo. So, you must get well-versed with operating such kind of applications.
There are numerous online classes available for experienced as well as new travel agents. You can check out these courses through the CITC (Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors). In Edmonton and Calgary, Grant McEwan College and CDI College are two such colleges that extend certification courses in tourism and travel.
Focus on your Niche
Today, there are several online booking sites through which people can make their travel itineraries anywhere and anytime. Your task is to examine the market gaps, provide information that cannot be found online. These may be the details regarding the least expensive travel tickets, honeymoon travel packages, cruise travel companies, and group travel plans.
If you are a frequent traveler yourself, it will work to your advantage as some customers tend to ask travel agents about many different travel destinations. Further, you must be aware of the precise travel schedules, documentation formalities, and the best route to popular destinations. This way, you will stand out for people who prefer booking on their own.
Aim for Research Excellency
Most of the job responsibilities of a travel agent revolve around conducting online research. This includes searching for cost-effective routes for individual travel, group travel, cruise holiday plans, and similar others. To be an accomplished travel agent, you must strive for great research skills and decision-making capabilities.
Working as a Travel Agent
There are two major ways to work as a travel agent. Either you can work with a reputed travel agency or opt for self-employment. If you work independently, you can search for your clients and have a flexible schedule. On the other hand, if you are employed in an agency, you will get many marketing options with less personal expenses on hardware, software, internet, and telephone connections.
Some Facts to Know
· As per the 2006 Canadian Census, 79.9% of the population has English as their native language. And 3.02% of the Canadian population speaks Chinese. While you don’t necessarily need to be bilingual to become a travel agent in Alberta, travel agencies prefer bilinguals. It generally depends upon the market you cater to.
· Your career growth in Alberta relies upon various factors like the size of the agency you are employed at, the number of customers you handle, your initiative-taking qualities, and your sales proficiency.
· Currently, travel agents’ job market faces stagnation because of the rise in online travel booking sites. So, the best way to add a distinct value is to specialize in a relevant area and offer exceptional customer service.