Corporate Travel Agent Job Description
Corporate travel agents coordinate travel arrangements for a business’s employees. They work in travel agencies or expense departments managing personnel travel details. Businesses rely on corporate travel consultants to negotiate the lowest rates for group business trips. One day they may arrange for travel visas to Brazil, then plan a company outing to England the next. The majority of corporate travel agents work full time in an office environment. Some travel agents work remotely since much of their time is spent on the phone and the computer. Although their job can be stressful at times, corporate travel agents generally report high rates of job satisfaction.
Corporate Travel Agent Duties and Responsibilities
While a corporate travel agent’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Advise Clients on Travel Options
Corporate travel agents assist clients by providing advice on the pros and cons of their numerous travel options. When cancellations, itinerary adjustments, and other unexpected circumstances happen, they suggest the best actions to take. They also offer advice concerning local weather conditions, local customs, and sightseeing attractions.
Book Travel Accommodations
The primary responsibility of corporate travel agents is planning tour packages, excursions, and day trips. On behalf of employees, they book flights, rental cars, hotels, tickets, and insurance.
Resolve Customer Complaints
Great corporate travel agents work well under pressure and quickly respond to customer issues. Organizations rely on these agents to resolve customer complaints and process refunds and credits when needed.
Process Employee Paperwork and Travel Payments
Helping keep visas and work permits current is an essential responsibility for corporate travel agents. In some cases, travel consultants help personnel relocate to new cities, states, or countries. Travel agents advise employees on travel documents, insurance, and import/export regulations.
Manage Corporate Travel Policy
Corporate travel agents strategically manage cost-effective travel policies for their entire organization. They also monitor all travel activity. These agents become go-to subject experts for any travel-related matters, and help a company meet its transportation needs. They ensure all employee travel is safe and organized according to company policy.
Corporate Travel Agent Skills and Qualifications
Corporate travel agents have excellent people skills, strong business acumen, and a talent for negotiation. Employers typically seek candidates with proven organization skills and a minimum of five years of experience booking international corporate travel. The following skills are essential to getting the job done:
- Travel planning – handling travel operations is a major responsibility of corporate travel agents
- Negotiation – corporate travel agents are expected to negotiate special rates with travel service providers
- Program management – companies expect corporate travel agents to continuously improve their travel programs
- Customer service – corporate travel agents deliver excellent customer service by using telephone etiquette and professionally handling service escalations
- Relationship building – companies expect their corporate travel agents to proactively manage relationships with travel agencies and vendors
- Financial management – corporate travel agents resolve refunds, reimbursements, debits, and money owed due to fraud and incorrect credit card charges
- Computer skills – travel agents use computers to conduct research and manage vendor relationships
- Research skills – corporate travel agents usually spend hours on the phone and computer researching the best deals to make travel arrangements for their organization
- Communication skills – since they work with high-level business clients, corporate travel agents need strong people skills and the ability to be pleasant yet adaptable
Corporate Travel Agent Education and Training
There are no formal education requirements to become a corporate travel agent, but candidates with a background in travel and tourism are especially attractive. Most corporate-level travel agents have at least an associate’s degree in travel and tourism or business. Higher-level agents may also pursue foreign language training to better negotiate deals. Many corporate travel agents work at a commercial travel agency for a number of years prior to landing a corporate position.
Corporate Travel Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for travel agents is $36,990. The lowest 10 percent of workers earn less than $21,350. The highest 10 percent earn more than $62,320. Industry employment of corporate travel agents is expected to decline 12 percent through 2026. Demand for travel agents will decrease due to travelers’ increasing ability to use the internet to research and book their own trips. Mobile device booking is also expected to rise.
We searched the web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a corporate travel agent. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect, and engage:
The Travel Agent’s Complete Desk Reference – this one-stop resource shares critical information that travels agents use every day, including an industry glossary with over 3,200 entries
Global Business Travel Association – visit the GBTA website to connect with a leading network of business travel professionals from around the globe. Members also get exclusive access to a set of resources and tools designed specifically for corporate travel agents
American Society of Travel Agents – ASTA is the world’s largest association of travel professionals and is dedicated to the travel industry and the traveling public
The Travel Institute – get professional travel agent training and education from this leading institute, which has been educating people new to the field for over 50 years
Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs – check out GIFTE to get coaching guidance and support to help build your new career
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