Many people dream of working in the travel industry, as they get to spend their working lives researching or visiting dream destinations around the world. It is also very satisfying to help clients plan idyllic holidays or honeymoons around the world. Competition is tough, and so you need to be determined - and well prepared - if you want to land one of the top travel agent jobs in London.

The UK tourism industry, which includes hospitality, is made up of about 180,000 businesses, including 40,000 travel agents. Young people, including school leavers, often start their careers in call centres or retail travel agencies but then have the chance to specialise if they wish in areas like cruises or business travel. It is an interesting and varied industry with great chances of promotion. As well as specialising in different areas such as Europe, Asia or the USA, you could also find employment on the marketing team, dealing with the social media strategy or attending exhibitions and trade fairs. Responsibilities could include promoting and marketing, dealing with customer enquiries, advising about passports or visas, maintaining financial records and selling holidays and insurance.

How to Search for Travel Agent Jobs in London

If you have a particular company in mind that you would love to work for, you could contact them directly or look on their website to see if they have any vacancies. Many job vacancies are filled through internal promotion, word of mouth or employee referral schemes, so it does pay to make enquiries before a job is advertised. You can also look through the local newspapers or online to find out what jobs are available, the salaries on offer and the skills required. Then you will have a good idea of how to pitch your application or if you need more training. Agencies are a great way to find travel agent jobs in London because they have the contacts and a wide variety of jobs on their books. They can open doors to positions that are not easy to find on your own.

Skills You Will Need to Be Successful

You will need to be well organised and have great people skills to be a successful travel agent. You will be handling a lot of customers and companies, so you need to be able to juggle calls, bookings, arranging flights and hotels, processing payments, negotiating deals, sending out tickets and advising customers. You also need great communication skills to find out exactly what a client wants from a trip, turn their dreams into reality and get them the best value for their money. You also need to be internet savvy, as a lot of research and bookings will be done online. You will need to research travel options, be adept at using social media and make your online presence felt to stay ahead of the competition. Obviously, you will need to be passionate about travel so you can give first-hand experience of companies and destinations to your clients wherever possible.

You will also need to have drive, ambition and great vision. The world of a travel agent is constantly changing as more people research and book online. So you need to change with it. You need to spot trends and have an instinct for which ones will be successful.