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Travel agents sell transportation, lodging, and admission to entertainment activities to individuals and groups who are planning trips. They offer advice on destinations, plan trip itineraries, and make travel arrangements for clients.
Duties: Travel agents typically do the following:
- Arrange travel for business and vacation customers
- Determine customers’ needs and preferences, such as schedules and costs
- Plan and arrange tour packages, excursions, and day trips
- Find fare and schedule information
- Calculate total travel costs
- Book reservations for travel, hotels, rental cars, and special events, such as tours and excursions
- Tell clients about their trip, including details on required documents, such as passports or visas
- Give advice about local weather conditions, customs, and attractions
- Make alternate booking arrangements if changes arise before or during the trip
Travel agents help travelers by sorting through vast amounts of information to find the best possible travel arrangements. In addition, resorts and specialty travel groups use travel agents to promote travel packages to their clients.
Travel agents may also visit destinations to get first-hand experience so they can make recommendations to clients or colleagues. They may visit hotels, resorts, and restaurants to evaluate the comfort, cleanliness, and quality of the establishment. However, most of their time is spent talking with clients, promoting tours, and contacting airlines and hotels to make travel arrangements.
A growing number of travel agents focus on a specific type of travel, such as adventure tours. Some may cater to a specific group of people, such as senior citizens or single people. Other travel agents primarily make corporate travel arrangements for employee business travel. Some work for tour operators and are responsible for selling the company’s tours and services.