Travel Agency Intermediaries
India’s tourism industry is experiencing a strong period of growth, driven by the burgeoning Indian middle class, growth in high spending foreign tourists, and coordinated government campaigns to promote ‘Incredible India’. The tourism industry in India is substantial and vibrant, and the country is fast becoming a major global destination.
India’s travel and tourism industry is growing at 7.3 per cent and is expected to generate $275.5 billion by 20183 . Any person who assists in the distribution of travel products to travellers is a travel intermediary. Online intermediaries are also growing.
A Travel Sales Intermediary (TSI) is defined as business entity that is engaged in the sale and/or brokerage of travel and travel related services such as cruises, tours, car rentals, bus and rail transportation.
Job profile: Travel agency intermediaries may sell airline tickets, book accommodation, tours and attractions, do ticketing and process payments. In addition they also prepare itineraries, issue tickets and collect payment, carry out general administration duties, organize and book conferences and visit clients.
Travel intermediaries also give advice on travel or holiday plans to their clients, give information on accommodation, transport and places of interest, advise and help with visas, passports, insurance and other travel-related documents. They may choose to specialize in any of the following areas- Retail Travel, Corporate Travel, Holiday Travels, etc.
Most travel agencies demands persons have a pleasing personality and the ability to deal with customers.
Skills & knowledge required: Travel agency intermediary is required to have good sales, customer service and people skills. Since they guide people with their holiday leisure tours having knowledge of other countries and their transport systems, accommodation options and tourist attractions is very essential.
Having knowledge of airline routes and alliances, passport and visa requirements, travel insurance and foreign currencies is an advantage.
In addition, they need to have good marketing skills, good communication (written and oral) skills, needs to be friendly, patient and helpful.
Educational qualification: A short term course or a diploma in travel and ticketing of 3-6 months duration will help gain entry into an agency. Several large travel agencies also offer short-term training programmes, and tend to absorb most of the candidates.
There are graduate level, postgraduate level, diploma and certification courses available to pursue in the industry. The post-graduate degree awarded is Master of Tourism Administration (MTA), which is a two year full time programme approved by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.
The Indian Institution of Tourism and Travel Management and some universities offer MTA degree in Tourism. A Post graduate degree can be helpful in getting into managerial and administrative positions in the industry. International Air transport Association (IATA), a World Organisation which provides recognised standard in training to travel, tourism and cargo industry, offers certification courses. Several large travel agencies also offer short-term training programmes, and tend to absorb most of the candidates.
The eligibility for admission to Travel and Tourism courses at the undergraduate level is, higher secondary examination pass. At post-graduate level, eligibility is graduation in any field along with a pass in the entrance test followed by group discussions and interview conducted by the institute.
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