You’ve decided you would like to use a travel agent for your next vacation. Great! But how do you know that the person you are trusting with your well earned time and money is going to deliver for you? This is the most important step of your vacation planning process because as they say, you can’t return a bad vacation! Here are some tips and questions to ask your candidate:
- What type of certifications does your travel agent have? A true travel professional will have designations from the Travel Institute or CLIA. They also will have completed destination specialist courses for the areas they specialize in. A hobbyist will not have any of these designations.
- Does your travel agent specialize? In order to provide expertise, a true travel professional will specialize. A true travel professional recognizes it’s impossible to be an expert in every product or every destination. A hobbyist who is just starting out and hasn't recognized this yet and will try to do it all.
- Does your travel agent do this full time? A true travel professional works their business as a full time time agent. A hobbyist may concurrently sell real estate, doTERRA, etc.
- Where did you find your travel agent? A true travel professional has most of their business come from referrals and existing clients. Be careful for referrals on facebook due to social media marketing networking groups. These groups search multiple facebook groups referring one another in their groups in hopes their business will also be referred back. When people ask for a recommendation on facebook from their neighbors, they are usually expecting people to respond because they had such a fantastic experience and are feeling compelled to share, not because this person belongs to a network marketing group. How can you tell which referrals are which? If you search the person’s name in the facebook group you will see an overabundance of them referring other businesses. If the facebook group is a specific neighborhood, see if the person actually lives in the area. The network marketing groups often times gives the admins a fake address just to get in the group so they can market. If a hobbyist is misrepresenting where they live and how much they are actually used by others, what else are they going to misrepresent when recommending your next vacation option?
- Is your travel agent credible? Do they have a blog post that shows all the places they have traveled? A true travel professional travels understands to be a better agent it’s important to see the products they are selling. These travels are documented with pictures and information to help their clients make a better decision about their options. A hobbyist will not have a blog post.
- Did you know there are no licenses needed in most states to sell travel? However, a true travel professional has the proper credentials with an IATA number. Attaining an IATA number means the agent has a heavy sales volume, has been selling travel for many years, and has proven financial records to back it all up. A hobbyist does not have their own IATA number.
- Does your travel agent have credible reviews? Everyone depends on reviews these days. However, what people don’t realize is that with social media marketing a lot of times these reviews are fabricated. Look for reviews that go over a long period of time. If there is a batch of reviews around the same time, they probably are fabricated.
- Does your travel agent have years of experience? A true travel professional will have years of experience in selling travel full time. A hobbyist will have years of experience of their own travels or occasionally booking travel for their friends or family.
Bliss Travel Service - a travel agency specializing in cruises, all-inclusive vacations, honeymoons, weddings, group travel
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