Many people enjoy working directly with clients, and even more of us have a passion for travel, whether if it’s around the globe or in our own backyard. Why not work in a field that combines the two?
There are plenty of benefits to becoming a Luxury Travel Advisor – even in these unprecedented times! Here’s a quick look at some of the most prevalent ones:
This is a career that ticks all the boxes: you get to work in an emerging, engaging field with strong human elements and constant opportunities for growth. Think about how many people plan travels on their own time – as a Travel Advisor, that’s what you’ll be paid to do!
Another huge benefit of becoming a Travel Advisor is that it’s a career anyone can pursue – regardless of your past work expertise or available time. We know successful Advisors with backgrounds in law and medicine, and those who have raised children as a full-time job. It’s also a job where you can learn and work at your own pace; if your schedule only allows for a few hours a week, that’s a few hours of productive learning and earning! There is plenty of opportunity for anyone who is willing to learn the business.
As with any career, becoming a successful travel advisor requires certain traits and skills. Maybe you plan to develop them, or perhaps you already have them; regardless, to get anywhere in this business, you’ve got to offer your clients the following qualities:
Every successful travel advisor is comprised of a different mix of characteristics, but all share these foundational qualities. This is a business where your success relies on your ability to bring a vision to life, and see it through to completion – something that can’t be done without all the above!
What is the most effective way to sell someone a product or service? As anyone who remembers the “pen scene” from The Wolf of Wall Street knows: to fill a need. Some needs are easier to understand than others; people need food, they need housing, and these things enjoy a simpler relationship between producers and consumers. Travel is different – because in a strict sense, no one needs travel. And yet, travel & tourism is one of (if not the) largest non-need industries in the world.
This tells us two things: one, that there is such a demand for travel as to have it nearly reach the level of need for many consumers; and two, that those consumers are willing to spend large amounts of money on its pursuit. Traveling well – and in the luxury travel industry, the entire goal is traveling well – comes at a cost. Yet it’s clear that there are consumers who are willing to spend the money.
The crucial formula that arises is this: identifying the right kinds of clients, inspiring them to pursue their travel dreams, and implementing your knowledge, passion, and resources in order to bring those dreams to life.
Before you can identify the right clients, you have to identify your niche as a Travel Advisor. In this era of specialization, it’s better to become an expert in one thing than to know just a little about all of them.
Combine your pre-existing knowledge with your passions, and see where that leads. Are you a hopeless romantic? Honeymoons are a fantastic niche to thrive in. If you’ve enjoyed traveling with your own family through the years, perhaps multi-generational travel is for you. You can be destination-specific – Italy, Japan, New Zealand – anywhere that enjoys a strong tourism component is a great place to start.
Finding your niche will allow you to position yourself in a way that will both attract and (more importantly) keep the right kind of clients. The more you learn about the workings of your niche, the better you’ll be able to understand what the consumers who are interested in that niche want – and how to give it to them.
At The Luxury Travel Agency, we often find that the best Travel Advisors are those who can tell a story, or paint a picture – metaphorically speaking. Since travel is a non-need industry, you cannot just wait for the consumer to come to you and lay out exactly what they require; those kinds of clients are most likely planning their own trips! People will often say that they come to Travel Advisors for assistance – which is true – but what they are really looking for is inspiration.
It is often said that decisions may be based on “hard data” such as knowledge and facts – but feelings are what trigger decisions. Your prospective client will surely take costs into account when making their decision between two far-flung tropical properties…yet if it weren’t for your ability to describe these properties as everything they are and could be, “idyllic havens of postcard-perfect luxury, every whim catered for, the finest jewels the world has to offer, etc.”, then perhaps they would not be making the decision in the first place – they would be staying at home!
You can only inspire a client by first getting to know them. This is true in every professional sales field, but especially so in travel. Every client has a different vision for their trip, different goals and preferences, and understanding not just these but the client’s very character is absolutely essential. In the luxury field, a travel advisor is expected to design a custom-built trip for their client; just as a top-notch tailor makes every piece unique for its buyer, so must you understand your buyer in order to design their journey.
Once you have a plan sketched out for a client, it’s time to put it in place! For any perfect trip, this requires a great deal of effort, and the aforementioned “necessary qualities” will be put to the test. You must be diligent in pursuing those things your clients need, and flexible enough to solve problems when they arise. A client’s requests will often shift or multiply through the course of planning a journey, and continually meeting (or, of course, exceeding) their expectations is a must.
We’ve mentioned the ability for constant growth as a Travel Advisor – the more knowledge you gain, the more connections you make, the better you’ll be able to plan exquisite journeys for your clients, which of course leads to more clients and more earnings! But how to start out on this path? What does one need to get the ball rolling on such a career?
As we’ve mentioned, getting started as a Travel Advisor is easy, which is one of the big attractions for those considering the position. You don’t need a specific background, degree, or even prior experience!
However, reaching the heights of success you’re surely seeking as an independent Travel Advisor is difficult without the partnership of a Host Agency. This agency will be able to provide you access to important contacts at the world’s best properties, airlines, tour operators, restaurants, and many more besides. You’ll also be able to offer your clients (via the partnership) exclusive benefits and amenities on their bookings that you wouldn’t be able to provide on your own. Having guidance and support is also a critical element; no industry is easy to make a name in without a little assistance!
Selecting The Luxury Travel Agency as your Host Agency makes all of this possible. We (the founders and your direct contacts with the Agency) have been to over 90 countries and countless cities, islands, and villages. We started the business from scratch, with no support, and worked our way up to where we are today; we know what it takes to be successful!
The Luxury Travel Agency is partnered with over 2,000 of the best hotels and resorts around the world, where we can provide our clients with an array of these aforementioned amenities, benefits, and VIP status. We are members of Virtuoso, the most respected consortium in the industry, which carries a ton of weight worldwide.
We have connections around the world that can help with the planning and execution for your trips, and our company is well respected in the industry. Our brand lets your clients and prospective clients know exactly who you are and who you work with, and builds their expectation of what they will receive. Plus, we’ll help with your marketing, and are always here to assist with all facets of training and mentorship.\
While this may be a difficult time for the travel industry, it’s actually the best time to get started as a Travel Advisor. You can use this downtime to find your niche, learn your product, and make invaluable connections – because once the world opens back up, you can be sure that the demand for travel will be sky-high! Put yourself in a position to succeed by starting now, and you’ll be reaping the rewards in no time.
The Luxury Travel Agency looks forward to hearing from you, and partnering with you on your road to success as a Travel Advisor!
We look forward to hearing from you,
Executive Vice President