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Old 03-07-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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Travel Agents

A travel agency may either be one of a chain of retail outlets or a single operation. The work of the larger agencies is often divided between different divisions, e.g. counter service, business travel and foreign exchange. In smaller concerns each member of the staff will have to handle many aspects of the agency's business.
Some agencies limit their activities to arranging travel and/or holidays to a specific area, but most cater for a very much wider demand and fulfil all the functions associated with acting as intermediary between the providers of holidays, transport, accommodation etc., and the client.
Companies that deal only with business travel are called Business Travel Houses. They may also be responsible for dealing with the planning, publicity and bookings for trade fairs and conferences.
Travel agency sales clerks take bookings on behalf of tour operators, sell tickets for travel, make hotel bookings, take payments from the public and give advice, on types of holidays, methods of travel, passports, visas, travellers cheques, foreign currency etc., They need to have a good knowledge of the products and destinations offered by the tour operating and travel companies.
Managers and assistant managers are responsible for the day-to-day operation of branch offices. This includes staffing, marketing, accountancy, complaints etc. Travel managers should have professional qualifications and experience. In a small agency training will probably be on-the-job. Large companies may offer a training programme.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:07 AM   #2
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Getting the Most from Travel Agents

Use the following tips from the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) to make your next vacation travel experience a productive one:

1. Do a background check


2. Treat your agent as an information sifter

3. Plan ahead

4. Describe types of people you'd like to meet on vacation

5. Relate your special interests

6. Spill the beans on your travel partner
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