What makes a great travel agent?

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Otto de Vries: ASATA CEO

If you’re a frequent business traveller, chances are you already know the value of working with a good travel consultant – someone who has your back when you’re on the road and can make changes to your travel arrangements on the fly.

It stands to reason that you already know that your travel consultant is not only a great planner, but also someone who has the ability to multi-task at the drop of the hat. Your travel consultant is a resourceful professional who thinks on his or her feet, can find and secure the right options that suit your specific needs, and takes initiative to help you out of a bind before you know you’re even in one.

But what’s the X-factor that makes a good travel agent, a great one?

  1. Curiosity – They’re curious about the world, about you, about your business. They get to know you and what makes you tick so they can anticipate your needs.
  2. Specialised – They stand out because of their skill and knowledge in a specific specialisation.
  3. In it for the long-haul – They’re interested in building a mutually beneficial relationship.
  4. Strategic-minded – Travel is not just about getting you from A to B. It’s about getting you from A to B in such a way that your business, and you, will flourish.
  5. Beyond tick-the-box travel – This consultant takes any disruption to your travels personally, re-accommodating you the same way they would for family or friends.

These are the X-factor qualities that ASATA chose to recognise the best-of-the-best in the travel industry through its recent annual ASATA Awards, which forms an integral part of the association’s efforts to professionalise the travel industry.

As part of this effort, ASATA recently became the first association in the travel and tourism industry in South Africa to be recognised as a professional body by SAQA. Travel consultants across the country can now register with the ASATA Professional Programme (APP) to endorse their skills and enhance their credibility.

So when you want to partner with a consultant who has the X-factor, consider working with an ASATA-accredited travel practitioner so that you travel with peace of mind.