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Senior travel consultants design travel arrangements and itineraries for important customers and VIP clients. Travel agencies hire senior travel consultants to work all shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays. These professionals work in office environments and must know how to work independently, though they ultimately report to the department manager or business owner. While these consultants manage all aspects of travel for clients, the job itself does not require any travel.
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Senior Travel Consultant Duties and Responsibilities
Daily job duties for senior travel consultants vary depending on the clientele and the services provided by the hiring company. However, most senior travel consultants perform these core functions:
Design Travel Itineraries
Senior travel consultants design complete travel itineraries for clients that include entertainment, restaurant, and attraction suggestions.
Make Travel Arrangements
Senior travel consultants make and confirm all travel arrangements, including hotel room accommodations and plane tickets.
Senior travel consultants counsel clients on their various travel choices and explain the differences between available options.
Maintain Existing Client Relationships
Senior travel consultants maintain client relationships and solve problems to keep repeat clients happy.
Provide Extra Services
Senior travel consultants add extra services to travel packages and provide amenities to clients, such as hotel upgrades and coupons.
Monitor Airline Flights
Senior travel consultants monitor airline flights while clients are en route to stay apprised of delays and any other problems.
Provide Car Services
Senior travel consultants rent and confirm car rentals and car services for clients to help them get to and from airlines and events.
Research Industry Developments
Senior travel consultants stay up to date on airport regulations and other considerations, such as travel warnings and country visitor guidelines.
Senior travel consultants answer phones and greet clients coming into the office.
Senior travel consultants train junior travel consultants on all aspects of creating travel arrangements and satisfying clients.
Senior Travel Consultant Skills and Qualifications
Senior travel consultants are professionals who maintain a friendly demeanor and create efficient plans that satisfy all of a client’s travel needs. Companies hire senior travel consultants who have the following skills:
- Customer service - because senior travel consultants have a client-focused job, excellent customer service skills are essential
- Salesmanship - senior travel consultants use sales skills to sell extra services and amenities to clients
- Communication skills - senior travel consultants use strong verbal communication skills to clearly relay information to clients and counsel them on all their travel options
- Problem-solving skills - senior travel consultants use creative problem-solving abilities to fix potential travel and scheduling issues as soon as they occur
- Familiarity with international travel - senior travel consultants must have a working knowledge of world geography and the basics of traveling to foreign countries, such as currency exchange rates, spoken languages, and important social norms
- Organization skills - senior travel consultants must be well-organized and detail-oriented to successfully manage travel plans and schedules
- Research skills - senior travel consultants use top-notch research skills to find hotel rooms, book airline arrangements, and learn about travel destinations
- Computer skills - senior travel consultants need good computer and internet skills to work with various web applications, make online travel bookings, and conduct research
Senior Travel Consultant Education and Training
Senior travel consultants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, but many employers prefer candidates with industry-specific training or education. Senior travel consultants who have a travel and tourism certificate or a college degree in hospitality will stand out among other job applicants. Past work experience in the travel industry can be substituted for formal education.
Companies provide senior travel consultants with a brief orientation or training period so they can become familiar with the company’s programs, VIP clients, and preferred vendors. This orientation period varies by company.
Senior Travel Consultant Salary and Outlook
Job data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that travel agents earn $36,460 as a median annual salary. Travel agents perform the exact same job duties as travel consultants, and the two titles are interchangeable. Data shows that there were more than 80,000 jobs for travel agents in 2016, but that number is projected to drop 12 percent through 2026.
Senior travel consultants typically receive healthcare coverage that includes vision and dental insurance as part of their standard benefits package. Employers also provide paid vacation and sick days, and often provide hotel discounts and other travel-related perks.
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Find career opportunities, networking events, professional communities, strategies, and tips for senior travel consultants with these resources:
this website provides education and career resources for travel consultants, as well as an events calendar of upcoming networking opportunities
use this desk reference to find valuable research resources and essential information that travel consultants use regularly
designed for professional travel consultants, this website contains industry event information, articles, and membership benefits
read this book to learn marketing strategies and tips from actual travel agents to sell services to clients more successfully