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Travel Agent/​Adviser

Māngai Whakarite Haerenga/​Kaitohutohu Whakarite Haerenga

Alternative titles for this job

Travel agents/advisers provide information about tourism attractions, sell travel, accommodation, tours and attractions, do ticketing, and process payments.

Pay

Travel agents/advisers usually earn

$39K-$55K per year

Senior travel agents/advisers with experience and extra responsibilities usually earn

$55K-$100K per year

Source: Trade Me Jobs, 2017.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a travel agent/adviser are poor due to lack of demand.

Pay

Pay for travel agents/advisers varies depending on experience and employer.

  • Travel agents/advisers usually start on the minimum wage or a little more.
  • After five years travel agents/advisers can earn up to $55,000 a year.
  • Senior travel agents/advisers and travel wholesalers with more than five years' experience can earn up to $100,000 or more (including bonuses or commissions).

Travel agents tend to earn a low base salary, and receive commission and bonuses based on their sales.

Source: Trade Me Jobs 'Salary Guide', 2017.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Travel agents/advisers may do some or all of the following:

  • give advice on travel or holiday plans, accommodation, transport, and places of interest
  • book accommodation, transport, tours and cruises
  • advise clients about visas, passports and insurance
  • prepare itineraries, issue tickets and collect payments
  • organise and book conferences.

Skills and knowledge

Travel agents/advisers need to have knowledge of:

  • New Zealand's and other countries transport systems, accommodation and tourist attractions
  • computer reservation systems
  • airline routes, alliances, and safety and security regulations
  • passport and visa requirements, travel insurance and foreign currencies
  • current affairs, including areas where travel may be dangerous.

Working conditions

Travel agents/advisers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may have to work long hours and weekends, or be on call
  • work in travel agencies and offices, from their home, or in tourist information centres
  • may take familiarisation trips within New Zealand or overseas.

What's the job really like?

Jessica Strawbridge

Travel Agent

Travel agent work has its rewards and challenges

Travel agent Jessica Strawbridge got to book her own honeymoon. "We went to Fiji and it was brilliant! We did get some really good agent's rates. That makes a huge difference."

However, most of Jessica's trips are for work – and they are hard work. When she's sent to check out accommodation, Jessica may be away for five days, visiting up to six hotels each day.

"All the hotels start meshing into one. You’re trying to think, 'Was it that one? That one?' "

Attention to detail essential

"The smallest mistake can absolutely ruin somebody's perfect holiday, so we really need to make sure we have the correct time for their flights, the right dates for the accommodation. Missing one little thing can mean a lot of money that we have to pay, because we've made a mistake. That attention to detail means we have to be here longer in the evenings sometimes."

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements to become a travel agent/adviser as skills are learned on the job.

Travel wholesalers generally need a travel qualification, such as degree or National Certificate in Travel, and relevant experience at a retail or wholesale travel company.

Secondary education

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but English, maths, geography and languages to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

Personal requirements

Travel agents/advisers need to be:

  • skilled in sales and customer service
  • good at listening, and understanding of their clients' needs
  • able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures
  • enthusiastic, friendly, patient and helpful
  • professional, responsible and resourceful
  • excellent at time management and planning
  • very accurate.

Useful experience

Useful experience for travel agents/advisers includes:

  • work in travel or tourism
  • sales or retail work
  • overseas travel.

Find out more about training

ServiceIQ
0800 863 693 - intel@ServiceIQ.org.nz - www.serviceiq.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

COVID-19 pandemic decreases demand for travel agents/advisers

Job opportunities for travel agents/advisers are poor because the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced demand for workers.

Demand may improve as restrictions to control the spread of the pandemic ease.

Employers range from small firms to large chains

Most travel agents/advisers work for travel agencies. These may be small family firms employing three or four people, or part of nationwide chains.

Travel brokers, who are usually experienced travel agents, usually own their own business and work from home.

Travel advisers also work for the 80 information centres (i-SITEs) around New Zealand.

Sources

  • 100% Pure New Zealand, 'Visitor Information Centres', accessed May 2017, (www.newzealand.com).
  • Freeman, T, 'Industry Brainstorms Career Progression and Succession Plans', 20 May 2016, (www.taanz.org.nz).
  • Travel Daily, 'New Zealand Agents Thrive in a Digital World', 10 May 2016, (www.taanz.org.nz).
  • World Travel Agents Association website, accessed April 2017, (www.wtaaa.org).

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Travel agents/advisers may progress to set up their own business as a travel broker, or move into management.

Travel agents/advisers may specialise in travel wholesaling (selling airline tickets, accommodation and tours to retail travel agents).

Jessica Strawbridge points to a destination in a travel brochure

Travel agents and advisers need a good knowledge of the travel industry

Last updated 23 April 2020