(Here’s a short post about the newest phase in my business as a travel agent)
As a travel brand, you undoubtedly work with travel agents – or as they prefer increasingly to be called, counselors or consultants – or their consortia.
That’s mostly because the role of the travel professional in this capacity has changed over the past twenty or so years. With most people searching for and booking their own flights, this primary job has all but disappeared. Now travel “agents” take on a more advisory role, helping clients find their ideal vacations and offering their takes on destinations.
I now have a personal angle to all of this – I am training to be a travel agent myself, or I more accurately should say, retraining. I still have the same name, Red Rocks Travel Company.
A few years ago, I enrolled in an online program whose curriculum consisted of reading a book, taking a test that barely assessed what I learned and didn’t have any mentoring. There was only one person (the program’s owner and director) to answer any of my questions. Then, when I was finally done with the “training,” the owner directed me to a host agency.
At first, it seemed legitimate, and their system was easy to follow. But I was only given cruises to sell. If I closed a minimum number of leads within the three-month introductory period, then I could move on to tours, which is what I wanted to book. Nothing against cruises, but it just wasn’t my passion. I’ve only been on two in my lifetime, and I just knew I wouldn’t convey that enthusiasm enough to close the sale.
The result? I extricated myself from the whole mess, after only making one sale. I won’t say the name of the training organization or the host agency, because I’m sure there are people out there who have greatly succeeded with both.
But I’m returning to the travel agent side of the industry, because I have a great desire to know and be part of it. I’m with another host agency, Gifted Travel Network, that’s taking pretty good care of me and making sure that I’m not just fully trained but fully ready and personally invested in the business. They have more resources and support than I know what to do with, and I’m very enthusiastic about this new venture. But I also love content marketing, and will still maintain that business. It’s been good to me, so why give it up altogether?
Learning about the central mechanisms that drive the travel industry is the main reason. Travel agents are on the front line for what’s selling and popular in travel. I will get that knowledge firsthand when I take on this role.
Essentially, it comes down to that each area is going to inform the other. Being a travel agent will help me be a better content marketer for the travel industry. As my journey continues in these next few months, I will let you know how it goes.
Next up…I’ll make the case that travel agents are still an essential part of the travel industry, and why they’re needed more than ever. I almost need to 🙂
If you have any thoughts about travel agents and why I’m becoming one again, I’d love to hear your thoughts below.