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Overview of the role

Making travel arrangements and booking accommodation and other services for holidaymakers and business travellers.

Reference Number: ST0340

Details of standard

Travel consultants have a highly responsible role as they provide outstanding customer service, delivering a range of often complex travel arrangements, accommodation bookings and ancillary services which help to ensure their travellers benefit from journeys and time at their destination that is positive and aims to exceed their expectations. Usually travel consultants specialise in either ‘corporate’ or ‘leisure’ travel but either way employers agree that their essential knowledge, skills and behaviours are transferable across the industry. 

Definition of corporate and leisure travel consultants

Corporate Travel Consultant

Corporate travel consultants typically work according to service level agreements, taking care of the unique needs of business travellers, and know how to tailor itineraries that ease their door

to door experience, taking account of factors that may impact on their trip including location and times, business facilities and corporate budgets. A key part of a corporate travel consultant’s role is appreciating that their customer must account for every single expense when travelling for business, and so must ensure travel time is organised and used as effectively as possible, and in compliance with the customer’s corporate policy or preferred choices.

Leisure Travel Consultant

Leisure travel consultants work in a fast paced, customer focused sales environment which aims to  sell experiences and memories and meet the unique needs of leisure customers by sourcing

and matching them to a variety of travel options within their budget including: tailor made itineraries, package holidays, special interest holidays, weddings abroad, cruises and seasonal activity

based holidays. A key part of a leisure consultant’s role is keeping ahead of the ever increasing demand from customers for new and different leisure experiences.

 

 

Industry Knowledge and Understanding (Know it)

Industry Skills (Show it)

Industry Behaviours (Live it)

Geography

Know a varied range of world-wide geography and popular travel destinations to help inform customers’ travel plans

Source and provide reliable and relevant geographical information that will help inform enquiries, support customers’ travel decisions and close sales

Proactively keep up to date with worldwide geography and current affairs that could impact on customers

Travel information

Know travel information including: passport and visa requirements, diversity for example local cultures, customs and tradition, differences in time zones, climate, medical safety information, foreign office advice and foreign exchange information

Source and provide accurate and relevant travel information that will ensure customers have a positive travel experience

Proactively keep up to date with travel information according to the customer profile of the business and the ever changing dynamics of the industry

Industry practice

Know the travel industry and the systems that support it, including those for reservations and booking, the importance of booking the correct product / service and key information such as travel terminology, abbreviated industry codes, preferred operators’ current fare and ticketing rules, and travel regulations

Carry out transactions, using a range of reservation and booking systems, according to standard industry practices and the procedures of the business, ensuring that customers are offered travel options that will meet their individual needs within agreed deadlines

Take a keen interest in travel industry developments to keep professional knowledge current and up to date

Travel options

Know the variety and alternative combination of travel options that are available to customers including modes of transportation, types of accommodation and how to produce an itinerary that will meet customers’ precise needs

Source travel options, work with relevant industry suppliers and produce detailed itineraries that best meet customers’ needs

Demonstrate commercial awareness and consideration for customers’ unique needs when selecting and combining different elements of customers’ travel plans

Product and service

Know the unique selling points of travel products and services and understand how to match their features to benefit the customer and provide an enhanced competitive proposition

Match customer needs to products and services and identify opportunities to upsell, suggest alternatives, introduce an enhanced competitive offer when appropriate and always aim to maximise profit when closing the sale

Promote confidence in customers by demonstrating a passionand belief in the products and services being sold 

Customer

Know different customer profiles, including sole travellers and groups, how to recognise and identify their requirementsand individual needs, their preferred method(s) of booking travel, the need for providing a flexible service to support the process, and how to meet the increasing demand for an enhanced travel experience

Engage customers by building rapport and take opportunities to adapt communication styles to match their needs and deliver an enhanced service which encourages repeat business and consistently aims to exceed their expectations

Respond positively and imaginatively to customers’ requirements, demonstrating an enthusiasm to inspire and delight them

Legal and compliance 

Know how to keep customers’ details safely and to lawfully process business transactions, recognising the connection with travel industry regulations, business compliance and relevant legislation

 

Conduct the business transaction in compliance with travel industry regulations, approved codes of practice and business policy and continuously monitor the process to ensure accurate information and advice is given to customers

 

Be diligent in upholding protocols and business reputation to ensure customers receive the best quality service and advice and communicate and explain emerging issues and updates

Industry technology 

Know how to utilise technology in line with customer and business requirements and the scope of technology used within the business and the industry as a whole

 

Use technology effectively and efficiently and input data accurately in accordance with business procedures

 

Use technology responsibly and embrace developments in travel technology

 

Generic Knowledge and Understanding (Know it)

Generic Skills (Show it)

Generic Behaviours (Live it)

Business

Know the business vision, objectives and brand standards, the market it competes in, external factors that affect customer behaviour and business performance and understand the importance of meeting customers’ needs profitably

Actively support business performance by meeting agreed targets and providing travel solutions for customers varying needs and budgets in a way that is profitable to the business

Engage with the culture and ethos of the business and be a positive advocate and driver for high quality performance and achievement

Sales

Know how to operate commercially with the aim of exceeding sales target, how to calculate complex travel costings, understanding the difference between turnover and profit, and how own targets contribute to achieving the overall sales budget

Achieve and exceed commercial targets by applying selling techniques that are appropriate to all customer types, take opportunities to maximise sales for example by selling promotions and preferred supplier programmes and maximise financial performance by upselling, cross-selling and calculating fares and refunds accurately

Proactively seek ways of engaging customers to increase and enhance sales

Team and personal performance

Know and understand the factors that both motivate and impair individual and team performance and recognise how own and team dynamics impact on the experience of the customer and ultimately business success

Work constructively with team members to deliver travel plans and experiences that meet customer needs and recognise opportunities for self and team development to improve performance

Evaluate own personal performance in a consistently positive and professional manner, take on feedback and welcome personal development opportunities

Communication

Understand how to professionally communicate to different audiences using a variety of methods, including available digital resources

Select and use appropriate methods of communication including digital technologies according to the customer and the nature of the travel details being conveyed, ensuring quotes and prices are presented accurately

Be clear and coherent to effectively communicate accurate

and complex information professionally and confidently to a diverse audience, in line with business expectations

Sustainability

Understand the impact that the business activity has on the environment and the organisation’s approach to operate in a more responsible and sustainable manner

Adapt working practices to minimise the negative effect on the environment

Demonstrate an on-going commitment to reducing impact on the environment in all work activities

 

Duration 

12 to 24 months depending on prior attainment 

Progression 

Individuals that successfully achieve the travel consultant apprenticeship standard will be well placed to progress within the industry into leadership or specialist travel roles and onto a higher level of training or apprenticeship in management.

Level 

This standard is at level 3 

Renewal 

The apprenticeship will be reviewed every three years, the first review scheduled for October 2017, unless there is evidence of significant industry change which employers agree warrants earlier amendment.

Recognition 

The content of the apprenticeship standard for travel consultants has been approved by the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) and ABTA the Travel Association.

 


Crown copyright © 2017. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0340
Approved for delivery: 21 July 2016
Route: Sales, marketing and procurement
Typical duration: 12 months
Maximum funding: £9000
Trailblazer contact(s): Angela.Williams@bcdtravel.co.uk
Employers involved in creating the standard: BCD Travel, Hillgate Travel, Capita Travel and Events, Giles Travel, The Co-operative Travel, Horncastle Executive Travel Ltd, Thomas Cook, TUI, Eurocamps, PGL, SPA, Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC), Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)
EQA Provider: People 1st, overseen by Travel Apprenticeship Board