The tourism industry in Queensland expects to create over 20,000 new jobs by 2020 to meet growing demand, and to that end it has delivered the Queensland Tourism Workforce Plan 2017-2020 after consulting industry specialists and communities across the state.
New travel agent jobs in Brisbane are expected to form a significant proportion of the new posts, so what are the qualities and skills of candidates for these potential positions?
- The foremost among these will be excellent customer service skills. You will have to make the client feel comfortable and to be happy that you are able to cope with their queries and demands for their holiday.
- The client may make a telephone enquiry. This would suggest that they may be making a few calls to find the best agency to visit. A good telephone manner will be the key to persuading them that a visit to your office should be top of their list. You may also be able to show that you have the personal skills to help them make their choice.
- Agencies are busy in Brisbane, and the ability to prioritise tasks and work under pressure at busy times is an essential skill within the industry.
- You must be able to understand your customers' needs. There is a difference between personal and business travel.
- Your geographical knowledge will help you to find a suitable package holiday but also help if you are faced with an enquiry about creating an independent travel plan.
- A good knowledge of online computer systems is also essential. This will involve making bookings for clients and, crucially, also ensuring that payments are correctly processed.
- Customers will also need advice on many other aspects of their trip. These include passport expiration dates, travel insurance, visas, vaccinations, tours and vehicle hire. You must have the skills to use online information to provide this kind of information.
- A good knowledge of airline regulations is also important. With this you will be able to advise clients of potential changes to their travel plans.
- You will need to be able to research the legal requirements and also have the personal skills to keep your client on-side. This will involve keeping up to date with all changes in the regulations for the travel industry.
- The industry is sales-driven, and you may be required to meet sales targets by your employer. Sales skills may be key to your career path within the industry, and so you must be confident about making the best choice for your client.
All the above suggest that employers are looking for someone who can combine hard and soft skills.
The former relates to how comfortable you are with the technical aspects of the job, including computer literacy.
Soft skills include social and organisational skills. The former relates to how you deal with the client, especially at the initial point of contact in person or by telephone or email. The second aspect involves organisational skills, both dealing with how you book the trip for your client and the administration within your own office and being comfortable as part of a team.
Candidates for travel agent jobs in Brisbane will need to display all these skills if they wish to be a part of this fast-growing industry.