|History Of the Travel Agency Profession|
Early travel agencies didn't limit themselves to merely purchasing airline tickets for major airlines, but made a highly specialized field out of planning leisure and vacation travel. Tour packages first appeared in the travel industry during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Package reservations and tours enabled travel agents to tack on a 10 percent tax and service charge that was considered the travel agent's well-deserved commission for arranging all the details of such tour packages.
Travel agents kept extremely busy making and confirming flight reservations, confirming train tickets, hotel reservations and entertainment for tens of thousands of clients who took advantage of the availability of specialized travel agents who did all the work when arranging business or leisure trips, either for independent travelers or entire families or groups of individuals.
In the mid-1970s, travel agencies that matched certain criteria were able to utilize a Carrier Reservation System (similar, but not quite the same as the Computer Reservation System). The Carrier Reservation System enabled travel agents, regardless of location, to book, reserve, and print out boarding passes and itineraries as well as invoices for airline travel utilizing a specialized computerized database. Travel agents were able to generate tens of thousands of clients who utilized their services to book flights to anywhere in the world, without having to rely on direct contact with a specific airline.
Retail travel agencies boomed in the 1970s. Students who completed a one-week automation training class were now able to perform the work of agents who has spent decades in the industry doing things "the old-fashioned way." By the 1980s, satellite telecommunication, toll-free numbers, and deregulation created intense competition between travel agencies.
|The Computer Era|
Today however, utilizing airline websites, in addition to travel websites -- including those owned by airlines, such as Orbitz, Hotwire, and Travelocity -- individuals are able to reserve, book, and purchase electronic tickets at the click of a mouse.
|The Advent of E-Tickets|
You may wonder how this new method of travel would encourage an individual to create their own travel agency business, but the transition from traditional brick-and-mortar travel agencies to home-based travel agency businesses is experiencing a growing trend, even in today's depressed economy, and in spite of such new technologies as e-ticketing.
The Internet has often been called the "great equalizer," which is true, and it allows small home-based travel agents the opportunity to compete with any of the largest travel agencies advertised in the media today. This is especially true for individual travel agents who specialize or focus in specific niches within the travel industry and their ability to garner search engine dominance.
Today, the only limitations to success as a travel agent, whether working for a company, or out of a home office, is the amount of determination, performance, and quality of the services provided.
|Reasons for Travel|
People travel for a variety of reasons. Many people travel for business, while others travel for educational or religious reasons. Sometimes, families like to travel for vacations, or to visit Aunt Sally in Nebraska. Others prefer historic travel, and like to follow the routes taken by historical figures from the past, both in the United States, and around the world. Imagine following the route of Lewis and Clark, or traveling the path of Marco Polo or Magellan, or even Ponce de Leon!
Regardless of why an individual wants to travel, there are as many reasons for that travel as there are different travel methods. It doesn't matter whether that mode of travel has legs, wings, wheels, or sails -- people are going to find a way to get where they're going in the fastest -- and sometimes slowest -- ways possible!
Vacation or leisure travel
How do people get around? The basic types of travel incorporate land, air or sea travel. However, within each area can be found a multitude of different methods and options.
Whether you want to fly to Antarctica (yes, flights to Antarctica are common during the summer in the southern hemisphere, which, for Americans, means flying in late November through January) or take a hot air balloon over Bryce Canyon in Utah, many individuals enjoy flight no matter how many propellers, or lack of them, are involved.
Thousands of people take helicopter tours of major landmarks around the world, including the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, the ruins at Chichen Itzá, as well as over Rome, various volcanoes in Hawaii, and yes, just about anywhere a helicopter can be rented.
Train travel is not as popular in the United States as it is throughout Europe, Asia, or South America, but traveling by train is a great way to travel across country or long distances in luxury. Whether you want to travel the Australian outback, Italy's countryside, or the Great Plains of Mongolia or Tibet, train travel is one of the most popular modes of travel in other parts of the world.
In Canada, the United States, Africa, New Zealand, as well as parts of Europe, South and Central America and Asia, trains are an inexpensive mode of travel that offer various states of luxury. People have been traveling by train for hundreds of years and will continue to do so because of its convenience, pricing, and destination opportunities.
Hiking and horseback riding is extremely popular in many locations throughout the United States and the world, and may incorporate short tours or week- and even month-long tours in the wilderness, depending on location and destination. Hikers are able to transverse great distances in every country by foot, and if you've got the time to spare, there's no better way to see a country than by foot.
A travel agent who specializes in land travel will be able to offer customers and clients a multitude of opportunities, options, and arrangements depending on location, time frame, and the needs and desires of the client.
|Domestic vs. International Travel|
- Skills a Travel Agent Requires
- How to Set Up a Home-Based Travel Agency
- Understanding Marketing and Promotion as a Travel Agent
- Travel Agents: The Basics of Travel Technology
- Travel Agents Knowledge: Matching Travelers to Travel Options
- Grow Your Company by Providing a Customer-Focused Business
- Understanding Kitchen Hygiene and Sanitation
- Retail Management: Structure of Your Business
- Using Help Desk Tools as a Marketing Strategy
- The Roles of Supervision, Counseling, and Discipline in Restaurant Management
- The Process of Organizing a Help Desk
- Needed Leadership Skills for Call Center Management
- The Essentials of Customer Service in Restaurant Management
- Metrics Used in Call Center Management
- Business Telephone Etiquette: Screening Calls