In a recent national survey of almost 700 travel agents, it is very clear why they love and – sometimes hate – being travel agents. Agents were asked what they most liked – and disliked – and to give the top three reasons for each.
The big #1 reason why agents love being travel agents is their passion for travel, along with the ongoing education and opportunities that the industry offers.
The survey showed 29.1% of home-based agents and 34.3% of agents who work in agencies listed a passion for travel and a joy of selling travel as the #1 reason why they love being an agent.
‘Helping travellers fulfill their travel dreams’ showed up frequently as one of the reasons agents love their jobs.
The agents also rated ongoing training and learning opportunities and the opportunity to travel as being among the top reasons why travel agents love their jobs.
Meanwhile 23.4% of the non-home-based agents listed having colleagues around them as one of the things they love about being a travel agent.
Clients: love ‘em or hate ‘em?
Clients are a big factor when it comes to what agents love the most about their profession – but they also can be one of the things they dislike most about their job.
About 16% of home-based agents listed that their clients are why they love being an agent, while 33.2% of non-home-based agents listed their clients as the main reason they dislike their jobs. Why? Because they feel some clients waste their time and are tire kickers who end up booking elsewhere.
One of the other challenges that agents listed as a #1 dislike – aside from time-wasting clients – are challenges in dealing with suppliers. This was the case for non-home-based agents and home-based agents, along with reservation wait times and delays.
Online direct competition also rated in the dislikes section with 10.5% for non-home-based agents and 7.1% for home-based.
Home-based agents love being home-based
Home-based agents listed many benefits of being home-based in the ‘love’ category. A whopping 31.4% listed being home-based as the #1 reason why they love being an agent and shared the reasons in their comments, mentioning ‘being my own boss’, ‘no commute’, ‘better work life balance’ and ‘keep more of the commission’ as reasons they love being a home-based agent.