The recent national survey of almost 700 travel agents reveals many things about agents but one of the more interesting sections asks what they love - and hate - most about their jobs.
The number one reason why agents love being travel agents is their passion for travel, along with the ongoing education and opportunities for travel that the industry offers. The survey showed 29.1 per cent of home-based agents and 34.3 per cent of agents who work in agencies listed a passion for travel and a joy of selling travel as the number one reason why they love being an agent.
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.
In the survey, 23.4 per cent of the non-home based agents also listed having colleagues around them as one of the things they love.
'Helping travellers fulfill their travel dreams' showed up frequently as one of the reasons agents love their jobs.
Clients: the good, the bad and the ugly
Of course agents love their clients - but there are some exceptions.
One interesting finding was that non-home based agents often find themselves assisting new clients who may just be shopping around and then booking elsewhere, whereas home based agents reported less of that and only assisting their existing clientele leading to bookings.
Yes, clients are what agents love the most about their profession - but they are also can be one of the things they dislike most about their job. The survey found that 15.8 percent of home-based agents listed that their clients are why they love being an agent, while 33.2 per cent 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 and then book online.
Suppliers can be challenging, too
Among the reasons agents dislike their jobs, apart from clients who waste their time, are challenges in dealing with suppliers for both non-home-based agents and home-based agents - along with waiting on hold with reservation departments.
Online direct competition also rated in the dislikes section with 10.5 per cent for non-home based agents and 7.1 per cent for home based.
Home-based agents love being at home
Home-based agents listed many benefits of being home based in the “love” category. An impressive 31.4 per cent listed being home based as the number one 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 an agent.
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