WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A SUCCESSFUL TRAVEL ADVISOR
Not only is it easier to lay out a well-planned itinerary when it’s a place you’ve been before, but clients love to know that you have first-hand experience. Clients seek travel planning help from a professional travel advisor because they want those insider tips, info they can’t find online.
Selling from your personal travel memories is the most natural sales tactic. The conversation will flow, and before you know it, you’re booking clients to enjoy the same incredible experience you enjoyed so much! To be a successful travel advisor, you need to have personal travel experiences to draw from and the ability to travel 3-6 times a year. There will always be questions about places you haven’t been to. Through our global network partners, The Journey Group Travel has access to the best destination training in the industry, giving you a valuable tool to learn about new destinations.
PASSION FOR TRAVEL
Passion sells. It is almost impossible to convince a client to visit a hotel you would never stay at. You won’t close the sale. You have to love what you do to be successful in this industry. Travel advisors sell dreams; this is not an industry you can get by selling from a generic script. A deep love of travel, and all the joy that comes with it, is necessary.
YOUR BOOK OF BUSINESS
You’ll need to strive to have 50-100 client households that travel at least once a year. The Journey Group Travel will help you craft a well-thought-out marketing plan to attract new clients. To get started, you must have a network of friends, co-workers, and neighbors you are confident will be interested in your travel planning services. We will help you build from there.
To be successful as a travel advisor, you must be comfortable with many different technology platforms, have excellent computer skills, and have intuition in workflow processes. You need to be proficient in using spreadsheets and working off templates, and a familiarity with Google Docs will be beneficial. Most client communications take place via email, with some texting + phone calls necessary. Each member of The Journey Group Travel works slightly differently, and you'll find what works best for you. We provide you with suggested technology tools, templates for almost every client communication, and more in our TJGT Agent ToolKit, all to help enhance your business skill set.
BUSINESS ACUMEN + FLEXIBLE MINDSET
All travel advisors of The Journey Group Travel are independent contractors. As an independent contractor, you’ll need to be a highly motivated self-starter with a certain level of financial literacy to manage your own business. It helps to be highly organized, proactive, and creative.
The travel industry is constantly changing. Your clients might change directions a few times during the planning process, and you’ll need to be able to pivot and readjust your focus quickly. This industry will require you to use your problem-solving skills on a weekly or daily basis. As a member of TJGT, you’ll have endless resources to aid these tasks.
Yes, you can be a part-time travel advisor, but keep in mind that emergency situations do arise, and you may need to be available. If your current job responsibilities keep you from stepping outside to text or call a client in crisis, this job will not work for you. As travel advisors, we are on call 24/7. There are emergency contact numbers for every supplier we book. Still, sometimes they refer clients back to their booking agent (YOU), and of course, the best level of customer service is where you provide a personal touch to any experience your clients go through.
COMMUNICATION + KINDNESS
Successful travel advisors are highly skilled communicators. To achieve the desired skill level, you just need to be thorough, and it will happen organically. Refer to TJGT templates and booking checklist to make sure you don’t leave out any details when communicating with clients and suppliers.
Kindness is essential for success in this industry. The travel industry is comprised almost entirely of service workers. Our company culture is built on kindness; we expect our team to communicate with other industry professionals and other TJGT members with a positive attitude.
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN A TRAVEL ADVISOR EXPECT TO MAKE?
As a sales-based career, the sky’s the limit on your earning potential. Your typical commission revenue is roughly 9-11% of your total sales volume based on fluctuating commission percentages from hotels, airlines, and tours. TJGT agents sell anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000 during their first year of business. The average sales volume of a successful travel advisor working full time is $1 million. You can expect to earn $10,500 to $70,000+ per year. We’ve had many years where individual team members have sold in the $2 million range, earning $140,000+. The Journey Group Travel highly encourages its team members to charge professional fees for all travel planning services (ranging from $100-$500 per trip); this is additional income above and beyond commission earnings.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN A PAYCHECK?
Travel commissions are paid after the client travels. Therefore, it will usually be 4-6 months before a travel advisor receives their first commission check.
WHAT ARE THE PERKS OF BEING A PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL ADVISOR?
As a travel advisor, you will receive invites to join local events and tradeshows exclusive to the industry. These include dinners hosted by Tourist Boards and our hotel partners, as well as tradeshows taking place all over the world. After selling $50,000 in travel, all of The Journey Group Travel advisors are eligible to receive an IATAN Card. This card allows you to receive industry rates at most hotels worldwide and other discounted travel opportunities. TJGT member agents who hold an IATAN card are eligible to participate in the by-invitation-only familiarization trips offered to our agency.
The travel perks & paycheck alone are not enough to keep you satisfied as a travel advisor. You must have a deep desire to serve your clients and enrich their lives by helping them create once-in-a-lifetime memories!