A few days ago I planned to travel to some exotic islands of Andaman and Nicobar. I was not able to find much about the place from the online websites and was also doubtful whether I would be able to enjoy the place. Then a holiday consultant came to my rescue and I had the best holiday I could imagine in my budget. So, what did he do? Let’s get to know more!
A few years back, a holiday consultant was not a well-recognised job and they were simply considered to be travel operators or tour guides. However, the career is quite different and challenging. More than academic, the career requires a passion for the job and the work that is involved. The person could be self-employed or work with a travel company. Some of the daily tasks of a holiday consultant are-
- Understanding the travellers and organising their trip accordingly
- Organising tickets, transportation and accommodation for the travellers
- Researching different travel destinations, travel prices, the customs, weather conditions, food, the best way to travel etc.
- Managing finances of the group
- Be aware of the challenging places and prepared to handle the adverse conditions
- Customer relationship
- Providing Information to the customers
- Liaising with service providers at different tourist places to get the best deals
For some locations, a holiday consultant has to first visit the place himself/ herself before guiding the interested travellers. So, a holiday consultant should be ready to travel.
People have been vacationing for long time, but why holiday consultants now?
A holiday consultant’s demand has risen in the past few years when people have started showing much interest in travelling to new and exotic places, the places that have been less visited in the past. Additionally, people are looking for experiences rather than just visiting a place and adventure tourism has also started gaining momentum. At this time, customers demand from the travel companies to organise their travel from someone who has a good travel experience. Now, customer demands have risen and thus has an opportunity for travellers. Currently, in many countries including India, a holiday consultant is hired by both public and private undertakings.
So, is there really a demand for holiday consultants
Apart from travel companies, holiday consultants have several opportunities and their demand is rapidly increasing with the increase in the number of travellers. As per the Ministry of Tourism and World Bank, in 2014, 18.33 million Indian travelled overseas as compared to 16 million in 2013. However, it has been estimated that by 2020, the number will reach 50 million which is a clear indication of the growth of this industry. Apart from travel industries, holiday consultants can have their career shaped in the following roles:
o Airline marketing and holiday planning
o Hotels providing additional services of holiday planning
o Government tourism departments
o In luxury transportation companies- ferries, coaches, cruise, rail etc.
o As a travel media specialist
What future I can expect in this field?
The industry is growing rapidly. Along with full-time jobs, a large number of people are opting for being in the career of holiday consultant as a freelancer. There are high perks in this industry along with increasing salaries. There are plenty of opportunities with travel agencies, luxury travel companies, resorts and clubs since they hire holiday consultants in order to provide professional yet customised care to potential customers. Some companies hire freshers in the industry and train them on the job while others demand extensive travelling experience.
Can you tell me what skills are required?
A person in this field should first be passionate for travelling. He should be having good observational skills that he can use to guide his clients successfully. Some of the skills that are required are;
o Be able to use software tools for handling the customers.
o Knowledge of communication language in the region of work, understanding of more than one language is beneficiary
o Should be having customer-centric skills, understand customers and sell them the appropriate packages.
o Good communication skills
o Knowledge of historic and geographic significance of different places
o Knowledge of architecture, culture, demographics of different locations
Do I need degrees to help others travel?
In this field, more than academic qualifications, experience matters. However, Indian universities have started offering several courses that can help gain growth in this career.
o Undergraduate course equivalent to Bachelor’s’ degree
o Master of Tourism Administration
o Management degree for additional skills
o Training programs offered by private institutes
o Vocational courses
Can I earn a good salary in this field?
o Starting salary for a holiday consultant is INR 1 Lakh-3 Lakh. The salary depends highly upon the consultant’s experience and knowledge about different places.
o Global average- $34,600
o Perks are good in this field, one can earn free travel, reduced prices for family, and several bonuses and commissions
|Popular Companies||Club Mahindra Holidays, Thomas Cook, Cox and Kings, Kesari Tours, Expedia|
|Fixed/ Flexible Working hours||Flexible if on-field, fixed if office based|
|Office/ Field Job||Mix of both|
|Requires outstation travel||Yes|
|Work in shifts||Yes|
|Requires spoken/ written English||English is necessary to communicate with travellers and local language knowledge is also necessary if working on-field|
|Fees for the course||$200-$500|