Job descriptions and industry overviews

Travel agent: job description

29 Jan 2024, 16:13

Travel agents are responsible for helping members of the public select and organise their ideal holiday on a limited budget.

Close-up of a globe focusing on the Eurasian continent, symbolizing global travel and geography.

What does a travel agent do? Typical salaries | Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

What does a travel agent do?

A travel agent's role is to help people plan, choose and arrange their holiday. They will usually work to a budget set out by whoever is planning the holiday. They also offer advice and opinions on where to go and local tourist attractions, events and customs.

Typical duties include:

  • promoting and marketing the business
  • dealing with customer queries and complaints
  • providing advice about visas or passports
  • recruiting, training and supervising staff
  • managing budgets
  • maintaining statistical and financial records
  • planning
  • selling holidays and insurance
  • meeting profit or sales targets
  • preparing promotional materials and displays.

What do travel agents earn?

Many travel agent jobs offer a basic salary (typically up to £30,000) plus a bonus or commission on sales.

Who are the typical employers of travel agents

  • Tour operators
  • Package holiday operators
  • Cruise lines
  • Independent travel agents.

A small number of companies operate head office-based graduate training schemes. Vacancies are advertised on jobs boards and trade publications, including Travel Trade Gazette and Travel Weekly .

What qualifications do you need to be a travel agent?

You don’t often require a degree to work as a travel agent, outside of graduate programmes. Therefore, a degree in any subject is acceptable, although travel, tourism, languages, leisure, business studies or management degree holders may be at an advantage.

A travel training company qualification or relevant travel agency, retail or sales work experience can also be helpful.

Most graduates enter the profession as junior counter staff (travel agency clerk/consultant), moving into managerial positions after having gained several years' experience.

Key skills for travel agents

  • Commercial awareness
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Numerical ability
  • Verbal communication skills.

Fluency in foreign (particularly European) languages and personal travel experience are also highly valued.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

People reading this also searched for roles in these areas:

Related careers advice

undefined background image

We've got you

Get the latest jobs, internships, careers advice, courses and graduate events based on what's important to you. Start connecting directly with top employers today.