If you love travelling, you can consider a career as a travel agent. Becoming a travel agent will help you to share your love for travelling with clients. You will have to direct clients on how best to travel. The airline to us for their travelling. However, there are a lot of factors to consider if you want to become a travel agent in Canada. Therefore, in this article, you will learn all you need to know about this amazing job which you can as well turn into a hubby.
What is a travel agent?
A travel agent is a person whose duty is to connect their customers with hotels, airlines, railways, and other travel and tourism agencies. They help their clients to create itineraries, find deals and book accommodation and flights. They can also advise their clients on the best thing to do in regard to their travel arrangements. As a travel agent, you work for an agency or work on your own.
A travel agent’s duties and responsibilities
If you become a travel agent, you will have a lot of duties to perform. These are duties that make your clients and customers have the best travel experience. You will perform these duties very well so that your customers will always come back to you. Some of the responsibilities of a travel agent include:
- Making travel arrangements
- Booking accommodation, flights, and ground transport
- Arranging travel insurance
- Providing support and expert advice
Why travel agent is a good career in Canada
You can choose to become a travel agent for many reasons. Your reason could be because of the flexibility of the job. Or because you will have a chance to meet new people always. Truly, many travel agents choose the career for different reasons. and whatever your reason may be, it is a great career for you. However, some of the reasons why many consider travel agent a great career in Canada include the following:
Earn a great salary
If you become a travel agent in Canada, you will pocket an average salary of $42072 per year. This is only the average pay, however, if you gain more experience and work well with your clients, you will get an increase in your annual salary. This means that you can earn more than this. On the contrary, you may earn less especially if you are still new in the industry.
Meet new people always
As a travel agent, you will always meet new people. This also means new business opportunities and new friends. One of the exciting things about being a travel agent is that you meet people from different backgrounds, cultures, languages and religions. This is great as it will expose you to many ways of life. And as a result, you will learn how to treat people of different characters.
Good job prospect
One of the reasons why you become a travel agent is because of the job prospect. As a travel agent, you can be employed either publicly or by a private firm. Or you can work as an independent agent in your own firm. Whichever choice you make, you are sure to have a great career and you will be able to grow in your job as you get more experience.
Your job as a travel agent is flexible, especially if you work for your own agency. As a travel agent, you can stay in your home to do your job. Your job allows you to work from anywhere in the world. So, you don’t have to come to the office before you can work. This gives you enough time to do other things like being with your family and attending other agencies.
How to become a travel agent in 4 steps
Though becoming a travel agent in Canada is easy and possible. So, you will have to follow the right steps when planning to become one. To this end, the steps below will help you to become a travel agent in Canada:
Step 1. Identify and decide on what type of travel agent you want to be
Your first step to becoming a travel agent in Canada is to make an enquiry. This enquiry will help you to get the necessary knowledge about the industry. Furthermore, during your enquire, you will learn about the types of travel agencies and the one you want to start. For instance, some travel agencies offer only luxury experiences and hotels. Whereas, others may focus on middle-class clients and help them find good and affordable hotels. There are also travel agents whose duties are to help companies organize group retreats or international business travel.
Step 2. Develop the requisite skills
Once you have completed your enquiry, the next step is to acquire and develop the necessary skills. The skills you develop will depend on the type of agent you want to become.
Skills to become a travel agent in Canada
The following skills are necessary to perform your responsibilities as a travel agent efficiently:
- Customer service skills
- Technological skills
- Marketing and sales
- Time management
- Negotiation and persuasion
Step 3. Get a certification
To be successful in this industry, you will need to obtain the necessary degrees and certifications, especially the certifications. The certifications show clients and companies that you have the necessary skills and knowledge in the industry. And you will have a great chance of becoming one of the best in the game. You can get your degree in a college or university. You can as well obtain your certifications through online classes and courses.
Certifications and training to become a better travel agent in Canada
To become a travel agent in Canada, you will any of the following certifications. They include:
Hospitality and tourism degrees
You can get a degree in Hospitality and Tourism. Many Canadian universities and colleges offer good courses in this field, So, you can enrol and get a degree to prove that you are skilled in the field. A degree in Hospitality and Tourism takes about three to four years to complete.
Travel agent certification
In addition to degrees, you can enrol in a professional course to become a travel agent in Canada. These courses offer you certifications that show that you have developed professional knowledge to become a travel agent. Some of the certifications include:
- Travel agent certificate from the Canadian Tourism College
- Travel counsellor certification from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA)
- Or Travel agent professional certification from the Professional Career Development Institute (PCDI)
On-the-job training helps you to keep up to date with the current trends in the industry. This is usually organised by the company to help update its workers. On-the-job training usually comes in the form of seminars and workshops with the aim of improving the knowledge and skills of the agent to be competent.
Step 4. Keep up with the market trends
To become a travel agent in Canada is one thing. It is another thing to remain in the business, To make sure that you remain in business, you must keep up with the market trends. This is why on-the-job training is very important. It will help you to study the market and also learn customer behaviours and preferences. With this knowledge, you will realize what works and what doesn’t work. Then, you can provide an excellent experience for your customers.
Licences to become a travel agent in Canada
Before you can become a travel agent in Canada, you must obtain a licence. Without a licence, you cannot become an authorized travel agent in Canada. Before you can obtain a licence in Canada as a travel agent in Canada, you must get a certification from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA). There are two types of licenses that can be obtained by passing the ACTA certification test:
- the Certified Travel Manager (CTM) license;
- the Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) license.
You must complete a training course before being accredited as a CTM or CTC.
Provincial licence to become a travel agent in Canada
Apart from three provinces, other provinces do not require any special provincial licence to become a travel agent in Canada. These three provinces include British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. What this means is that once you get your ACTA certification, you can begin to practice as a travel agent in Canada.
In British Columbia, the body responsible for issuing a licence is the Insurance Council of British Columbia. You must apply for this licence and obtain it to start your own agency in the province. However, if you don’t have a plan for opening your own agency, you won’t need a licence in British Columbia. This license allows a travel agency to issue travel insurance to clients.
Before you set up your travel agency in Ontario, you must register with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). Thus, you must pass the TICO Education Standard Exam to obtain your licence. Once you pass the exam and get your licence, you can begin to sell travel services for one of these registered travel agencies.
The body responsible for offering licences to travel agents in Quebec is the Quebec Office of Consumer Protection (OPC). You can get more details about licence in Quebec by visiting their official website.
Frequently Asked Question
How much do travel agents make in Canada?
The average salary for a Travel Agent is $42,072 per year in Canada. However, depending on certain factors like years of experience and qualifications, you can earn more or less.
How do I become a travel agent in Canada?
To become a travel agent in Canada, you will need to obtain a university degree in Hospitality and Tourism. You may also need to undergo online courses to get the certifications necessary for the job.
Where can I work as a travel agent?
You can work for travel agents either in the public sector or in the private sector. Apart from that, you can set up your own agency and become an independent agent.
Do I need a licence to become a travel agent in Canada?
Yes, travel agents in Canada need certification from ACTA to obtain a licence in Canada. Without the licence, you cannot become an authorised travel agent in Canada. In addition to that, if you plan to become a travel agent in British Columbia, Ontario or Quebec, you must as well obtain a provincial licence.
In conclusion, you can become a travel agent in Canada if you meet the requirements. However, you must also obtain a licence before you are authorized to work as a travel agent in the country.