Tour/holiday representative: job description

Tour/holiday representative: job description

Tour/holiday representatives look after groups of tourists staying at international resorts, where they are responsible for every aspect of their holiday.
Working as a holiday representative can be fun and a great chance to work overseas but you will need lots of energy.

What does a holiday rep do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Holiday representatives are responsible for ensuring that holidays run smoothly and fulfil all of their promises. Typical duties involve:

  • undertaking pre-holiday research into local facilities
  • inspecting hotel safety and cleanliness
  • offering sightseeing advice
  • organising and leading excursions and entertainment
  • liaising with accommodation owners, agents, coach companies etc
  • resolving conflict with clients
  • referring complaints and problems to senior management
  • writing reports.

Tour representatives may be 'on call' 24 hours a day. The work is not particularly well paid, but food and lodging are usually factored in. While it can be stressful at times, there is also a lot of fun involved.

Typical employers of tour and holiday representatives

  • Travel agents
  • Hotels
  • Private villa and apartment owners
  • Tour and coach operators
  • Camping holiday companies
  • Sports and sailing clubs

Vacancies are advertised online, in newspapers and trade publications including Travel Trade Gazette and Travel Weekly. Networking and speculative applications are advisable.

A few companies operate head office-based graduate training schemes. Paid summer vacation jobs may also be available with some employers. Applications for these should be made during the autumn prior to entry.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this career for both university graduates and school leavers.

There can be strong competition to work as a holiday representative so a degree in a relevant subject such as leisure, travel, tourism or management can be hugely advantageous.

Relevant experience or alternative qualifications will also be helpful in your applications. Experience gained within the hotel, tourism or travel trades (particularly overseas) are advantageous. Familiarity and knowledge of key holiday destinations, foreign language skills, first aid knowledge or a driving licence can also be useful.

To find out how to get into a career in this area via a school leaver route, visit the hospitality and travel section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for tour and holiday representatives

  • Independence
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Confidence
  • Energy
  • Fitness and health.