Do you have a passion for stylish hotels, exclusive experiences and sophisticated itineraries?
By becoming a luxury travel consultant, you’ll be able to plan dream holidays, enjoy plenty of travel perks, and enjoy lucrative commissions by selling holidays that typically have a high ticket price. If you’re passionate and can build relationships with high-end clients, you’ll be able to succeed. Below are the steps you need to take to get there.
What does a luxury travel advisor do?
Luxury travel advisors are professional agents who help clients plan and book high-end holidays and trips. They offer often unusual t destinations and tailormade packages to fit their client’s needs. Specialising in a niche is a great way to corner a segment of the market, allowing you to dig deep and really know your subject.
The luxury travel industry prioritises comfort and style with more emphasis on upgrades and added value than on price, deals and budget options.
Luxury travel advisors often organise every aspect of the trip, providing expert advice on airfare, passport requirements, and even customs and culture in different parts of the world because they can offer higher levels of service in line with higher prices.
What skills do you need to become a luxury travel consultant?
You’ll need excellent communication skills as a luxury travel consultant. You’ll be responsible for communicating with clients, often via email or over the phone, to help them plan their dream holidays. Also, you’ll have to communicate effectively with travel providers to ensure that all of the details of your clients’ trips are taken care of.
You’ll need to be very organised to succeed in the luxury travel industry. Often you’ll be working with multiple clients at one time and need to keep track of all the details of their trips.
Developing solid sales skills is essential as you’ll benefit on upselling clients on different aspects of their trip, such as upgraded accommodations or bespoke activities.
In addition to sales skills, it’s also vital that you develop good marketing skills because you’ll need to market your services effectively to attract new high-end clients. Additionally, you’ll create marketing materials, such as brochures, website content or social media posts, that accurately reflect the luxury travel experience you’re offering.
Finally, doing your research and getting to know your market is essential. A big part of the job will involve researching different destinations and hotels to find the best options for your clients. You may also need to explore other activities or attractions your clients may be interested in while they are on holiday.
How to become a luxury travel agent
Becoming a luxury travel agent does not require specific qualifications, meaning anyone with enough passion and dedication could enter the industry. However, these steps will propel you to success.
Find your niche
Finding your niche can help you become an expert in a specific area, better serve your clients, and stand out from other travel agents. Luxury travel is in itself a niche, but you can focus on luxury cruises, spa or adventure travel to further refine your market. When you focus on a specific type of travel, you can build relationships with vendors and suppliers who can provide you with the best deals and services for your clients. Ultimately, finding your niche as a travel agent can help you to grow your business.
There are many ways to gain training in the luxury travel industry. You could choose to get a specific degree or qualification in something like travel and tourism or get a job in an existing luxury travel agency. However, suppose you’re looking to aim higher. In that case, you could start your own business and benefit from the available training opportunities within host agencies and travel franchises. Sometimes, learning on the job can be the quickest and most rewarding route to success.
Join an agency or buy a luxury travel franchise
Two great options for those looking to break into the luxury travel industry as their own boss are either by joining a host agency or buying a luxury travel franchise. The best thing about these options is that they come with training which,is essential for creating a successful business.
Companies such as The Travel Franchise offer ongoing and extensive training for travel agent newbies and they have some sucessful consultants who are making single bookings worth £160,000. The franchise can help you to define that all-important niche and build a business plan. Franchises are a fantastic way to set up your own business but with the backing of an established brand that can support you every step.
Get your sales hat on
A career in luxury travel is rewarding because not only do you get to sell unique experiences to clients, but you also get to work with some of the world’s most exclusive brands. Luxury travel is all about relationships, and you’ll need to be able to sell your clients on the experience, not just the product, which could mean experiencing the holiday for yourself. Build a rapport with travel brands and they will often invite you on FAM (familiarisation) trips abroad. Luxury travel is about creating once-in-a-lifetime memories, so you must be able to sell that dream. This is where your passion for travel can shine as you talk your clients through what they can expect on their dream holiday.
Develop a social media presence
Social media is essential for you to construct your luxury travel brand and make it easy for clients to be inspired and ultimately contact you to book them. Social media also allows you to have a voice about the latest trends in the industry, establish your reputation as a professional and market your brand to prospective clients and travel providers.
How much does a luxury travel agent make?
The average salary of a UK-based travel consultant is around 25k. Still, as your own boss, your earning potential is unlimited, especially if you specialise in high-end luxury travel where commissions are higher. Some luxury travel agents who have bought franchises have a high five-figure salary. As of 2022, the global luxury travel industry is valued at $1.28 trillion and is forecasted to grow to a whopping $2.32 trillion in 2030, so there is plenty of growing demand for luxury travel. You’ll make money by taking commissions on the holidays you sell, so the more holidays you sell, the more money you’ll make. With ongoing training and improvement, your earning potential will increase, aided by the sales skills you’ll develop along the way.
Pros and cons of becoming a luxury travel advisor
For many people, the thought of becoming a luxury travel agent conjures up images of jet-setting around the world, staying in five-star hotels, and eating at the finest restaurants. And while there’s no denying that being a luxury travel agent has its perks, there are also a few potential drawbacks that you should be aware of.
- Challenge: Manage expectations
High-end clients often have very specific (and often unrealistic) ideas about what their trip should entail and they can be extremely demanding due to the amount they are spending.
- Challenge: Unpredictable Income
Luxury travel agents tend to work on commission, which means your income can fluctuate significantly from month to month.
- Perk: Access to exclusive deals and discounts
As a luxury travel agent, you can access exclusive deals and discounts unavailable to the general public.
- Perk: Flexible work schedule
You can set your hours and work from home if you choose. Or take bookings on a laptop while you are on holiday. This is an excellent option for those who want to be their own boss and have more control over their work-life balance.
One of the best parts of being a luxury travel agent is that you will get to help people plan their dream holiday. You’ll use your knowledge and expertise to help your clients find the perfect destination and hotel and you may even get to experience luxury holidays, too. It’s a great way to make a living while also doing something you love.