What is a Travel Coordinator?
Travel coordinators make travel arrangements for individuals, groups and organizations, including scheduling flights and ground transportation, booking accommodations and handling any other trip-related tasks. Travel Coordinators typically work for a single organization, such a company or sports team. Depending on the size of the organization, a Travel Coordinator may work as part of a team. And a senior Travel Coordinator may oversee the work of junior team members. According to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Administrative Services Managers, which includes Travel Coordinators, is increasing by 8 percent. This is expected to result in the opening of 23,500 new positions between the years of 2014 and 2024.
Travel Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities
In order to make sure that the travel needs of their organization are met, Travel Coordinators perform a variety of tasks. We analyzed a number of online job postings to identify the following core Travel Coordinator duties and responsibilities.
Arrange Transportation and Lodging
As the primary function of a Travel Coordinator, this responsibility involves finding and arranging appropriate modes of travel, such as flights and rental cars, as well as making reservations at hotels, motels or other forms of lodging. The logistical aspect of transporting groups of people from one location to another requires a great deal of planning and organizing, and thus making arrangements is an essential part of a Travel Coordinator’s job.
The employees of an organization will often need to be reimbursed for the cost of a hotel room, taxi ride, meal or other travel expense, and it is up to the Travel Coordinator to make sure that such reimbursements are properly recorded, documented and issued.
Serve as Liaison
Sometimes an organization will rely on a third-party travel agency to plan travel arrangements, but that doesn’t mean that the Travel Coordinator’s work is done. It is the duty of Travel Coordinators to facilitate communication between their organization and the chosen travel agency, make sure that the travel agency understands what requirements must be met and review all of the agency’s bookings for accuracy, cost-effectiveness and policy adherence.
Before each traveller can get to where they’re going, they first need to know when and how to get there. The Travel Coordinator is responsible for communicating such information to travellers, which can include which hotel room they’ll be occupying, the departure time of the flight they’ll be taking and the mode of transportation they’ll be using to travel to and from the airport.
Travel Coordinator Skills
Travel Coordinators must have an excellent level of organization, the ability to understand complicated logistical information and high attention to detail. Furthermore, they also need to be able to communicate with employees, supervisors and travel agencies with professionalism, clarity and accuracy. In addition to these general skills and personal characteristics, employers are looking for Travel Coordinators with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on our analysis of several online job postings, employers are seeking Travel Coordinators with these core skills. If you’re interested in becoming a Travel Coordinator, focus on mastering the following:
- Outstanding interpersonal communication
- Working knowledge of the travel industry
- Ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously
- Understanding of travel policies and regulations
- Negotiation skills
- Ability to maintain and manage vendor relationships
Advanced skills: Although most employers do not strictly require the following skills, they are often listed as being strongly preferred. To broaden your career opportunities, home in on these:
- Experience with coordinating travel arrangements
- Experience working in the travel industry
- Firm grasp of digital data and file management systems
Tools of the trade: Travel Coordinators use a variety of tools to accomplish their daily goals. If you’d like to become a Travel Coordinator, you should have a solid understanding of the following:
- Recent Microsoft Office software suites
- Telecommunications systems
- Travel software
- Online reservation systems
Travel Coordinator Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for Administrative Services Managers, which includes Travel Coordinators, is $88,110. Travel Coordinators in the 10th percentile earn $46,430 per year, while those in the 90th percentile earn $153,570 per year. Travel Coordinators in the states of New Jersey, New York and Delaware make the highest median annual salary in the United States, earning $112,300, $110,000 and $103,000 per year, respectively.
Travel Coordinator Resources
We compiled this list of valuable resources to help you continue exploring your career as a Travel Coordinator. From blogs to LinkedIn groups, you’re sure to find something useful below.
On the Web
Nomadic Matt – This website includes a wildly popular blog, travel guides and travel tips. Sure to be enjoyed by anyone involved in the travel industry.
Office Ninjas – This frequently updated website is geared towards anyone who works in management, operations or administration. Includes tips for effective communication, an advice column, interviews and more.
Travel Hub Directory – The travel agency directory on this website is conveniently organized by state. If you’re looking for a straightforward way to find travel agencies located near your organization, this is the resource for you.
Travel & Tourism Industry Professionals Worldwide – With over 270,000 members, this group is a great place to network, share ideas and get advice.
Corporate Travel Management – This highly relevant group has more than 8,000 members and is specifically focused on ways to reduce time, effort and complications in corporate travel.
Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Group – Aimed at anyone and everyone working in the travel industry, this group of approximately 120,000 members provides a place for Travel Coordinators and other travel professionals to connect, post open positions and provide assistance to one another.
Modern Business Administration – If you’re looking for a way to learn or brush up on the basics of business administration, this is the book for you.
Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Law – A thorough understanding of the rules and regulations of travel-related establishments is essential to any successful Travel Coordinator, and this book provides a helpful way to gain and maintain that knowledge. Includes real-world legal cases for reference.
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