Working within the travel industry, people frequently open up to me that they need always dreamt of traveling the planet for a living. For most, it’s a fleeting dream during a flash of hatred at their current jobs, something they might never actually find out how to try to to . except for others, the dream is real and more importantly, they need the drive to form it happen. a method to try to to it’s to become a luxury travel advisor and that they come from all business sectors: law, finance, beauty, fashion, media, education, and more. it’s employment that Oprah featured together of the “happiest jobs in America.”
The growth in travel and tourism outpaces the other sector, consistent with the U.S. Department of Commerce, with a 7.2% rate of growth and thousands of latest jobs. But it wasn’t until i used to be at Virtuoso Travel Week surrounded by top luxury travel advisors and suppliers that i noticed there’s the likelihood to form real money from planning travel for others. there have been agents that went from completely starting their career over to many dollars in business within a couple of years. Even better, I met fabulous young advisors like Kristen Korey Pike and Kate Corey with Currie & Co. Travels, Josh Alexander with ProTravel, Erina Pindar with SmartFlyer, Laura Allen with Century Travel, and Lindsey Epperly with Columbus Travel, all of whom I wanted to spend longer with. I chatted with Pike about her career trajectory from corporate life to luxury travel advisor and portions of the interview are at the top of this piece.
Still able to join our ranks? still Step 1.
STEP 1: Decide if you would like training.
Answer these three questions:
Do you have true experience planning trips? (We’re talking you’re the go-to, full-service planner for your friends and your friends’ friends.)
Have you traveled extensively and know several destinations inside and out?
Do you have an outsized network of friends, family, and contacts with the means and can to travel?
If your answer is YES to all or any of those , you would possibly be able to start your career as a travel advisor or an independent contractor during a host agency (learn what a number agency is and why you would like one).
If your answer is not any to any of those , you would like more training. you’ll participate during a year-long mentoring program that teaches you everything you would like to know!
STEP 2: Decide which agency to hitch .
A luxury Travel Advisor needs a worldwide network of travel suppliers to make sure that their clients are treated like VIPs and obtain added amenities and benefits—a sure fire thanks to get clients booking with you instead of directly. By joining a longtime agency, you immediately have the connections and name recognition that ensures a return call from the overall manager of fill within the blank fabulous property.
A. Align yourself with workplace that’s a part of a consortium
Joining or working with workplace that’s a part of a consortium, like Virtuoso, is key. You’ll be ready to unlock exclusive amenities that add tons useful to your client’s trip, and you’ll rest assured knowing that each one the hotels are thoroughly vetted and your clients are in good hands. Plus, you’ll have access to trainings and academic trips.
B. Research how the commissions and costs work.
What is the commission model?
What is the typical commission percentage?
Will you pay an annual fee?
Will clients pay a fee for your services?
C. find out what you’ll need from your agency.
Do you need accounting, marketing, and tech support? Will they supply it?
Will you be a part of a family of Advisors that shares information and help each other? Or will you merely be in workplace that allows you to use the name but you’ll work on your own Travel Advisor island?
Is the agency a neighborhood of preferred partner programs like Ritz-Carlton STARS or Four Seasons Preferred Partner?
Will the agency provide training opportunities?
Narrow it right down to a couple of agencies, and begin your deep-level research. Call Advisors in those agencies, call Virtuoso, resort to google—whatever it’s , do your homework. Once you work out the agency that’s best for you, undergo their process of joining the team…then proceed to subsequent step!
STEP 3: Get online
Build an internet site and social media pages, and develop your online presence. Nowadays, everyone likes to try to to a fast online search, and you would like to form sure you come up. plan to starting and maintaining a travel blog, albeit you simply post once a month. You’ll be ready to market yourself, and let potential clients know what you’re about.
Unsure about social media? Embrace it because it’s here to remain . The ROI of social media is that you’ll still be here in 6 years. You’ll be ready to connect with clients also as people within the industry!
STEP 4: Dedication, Patience & Training
Just like starting a business in any industry, you want to be dedicated and patient. Use every opportunity to network and meet potential new clients. Neighborhood gatherings, community events, and even parties are great ways to urge the word out about your new business. The more you tell people you’re a luxury travel advisor, the more questions they’ll ask. Be prepared!
Read more: What is an Extended Stay Hotel?
Secondly, you would like to be dedicated. You’ll experience the very best of highs (booking your first safari) and therefore the lowest of lows (a dry spell, or worse—a “shopper” that takes up hours and hours of some time only to book on a travel deal website). Keep trucking through regardless of what comes your way. during a few years, you’ll be so glad you probably did .
Lastly, never stop learning. cash in of any training opportunities. Log into webinars, attend Virtuoso Travel Week (a must!), experience a rustic through an academic trip, or check in for a study tour. The industry is consistently changing, and it’s crucial to stay up.