Do you like computers, the internet and would you like to work at home? You can become a travel agent online! This job allows you to have a certain independence and to be your own boss. Some websites offer you training and certifications that will allow you to create your home travel agency. The responsibilities of an online travel agent vary. For example, you can sell reservations or provide assistance with purchasing tickets online, but you can also act as a middleman and earn a commission by referring customers to major online ticketing sites. In this article, we explain how to become an online travel agent.
Step 1. Get a BTS
To be a travel agent, you need a Bac or Bac + 2 (BTS) in the tourism sector. You can also take additional training which is sometimes requested and necessary, such as ticketing, travel services, etc.)
- Learn English. A good command of the language of Shakespeare is essential, because you will be working in close collaboration with foreign companies and the reference language is English. If you speak an additional foreign language, it will be to your advantage.
- Familiarize yourself with computer tools. To be an online travel agent, you are going to have to use specialized software (you obviously guessed it) such as tourist booking, marketing and online sales software.
Step 2. Take online training
Online training has many advantages. They offer great flexibility by adapting to your schedule. You have the possibility to choose your pace of work according to your various occupations. Classes are generally available 24 hours a day, wherever you are.
- Some companies offer you online training, but sometimes it is to then work for their company. This is the case with Aquaterra, for example. The Amadeus site also has solutions for you to review.
- To have a travel agency in France, you must be registered, give a financial guarantee, have professional civil liability insurance and prove your professional skills (exercise of the activity, internship or diploma.
Step 3. Start your activity
To get started, you can work for an agency that is recognized and that can help you get started and often even put computer tools at your disposal.
- Adapt. Nowadays, the travel agent (or travel advisor) must be able to adapt to the changing needs of different types of clientele. Older people need security and are not looking for the same type of travel as young, single people who are looking for groups or contact with other people.
- Learn how to manage a website. To become an online travel agent, you must have a good general knowledge and you must, for example, know how to convince Internet users that a trip to Mexico can be more interesting than a trip to another country. So you need good writing skills for the web.
Step 4. Be in good standing with the law
A travel agent can sell or organize a trip or both at the same time. By being an online travel agent, you are a merchant and under the law of July 13, 1992 relating to the organization and sale of trips and stays. The tourism code therefore requires you to have a license (articles L.212-1 to L.212-3. The seller's liability is described in article 23 of the 1992 law codified in article L.211- 17 of the Tourism Code The article concerning the sale of online travel is Article 121-20-3 of the Consumer Code: the professional is fully responsible towards the consumer for the proper performance of obligations resulting from the contract concluded at a distance, whether these obligations are to be performed by the professional who concluded this contract or by other service providers, without prejudice to his right of recourse against them.
Step 5. Join a union or association
In France and in French-speaking countries, you can join the SNAV (National Union of Travel Agents) or SETO (Union of Tour Operating Companies). These organizations develop collective actions while allowing each institution to maintain its autonomy and its specialty.