Business Travel Jobs Explained

All travel agent work can be exciting and demanding - but perhaps business travel jobs especially so. Why is this?

If you are providing general travel agent services to the public for things such as holidays and weekend breaks, then although challenges and problems will arise, there may be a core stability around the travel plans that is unlikely to change. For example, someone booking a holiday to Thailand is unlikely to call you on only the second day there and say that they now want to travel immediately to another holiday in Australia. Yet with business travel jobs, that can happen - and fairly regularly!

Global business is characterised by the frequency of how things change. A business traveller may be actually en-route to Hong Kong and suddenly his or her employer will call you to say that, upon arrival, their employee must now travel immediately to Los Angeles. If you think that is simply a question of arranging other tickets from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, then you are mistaken. All existing accommodation arrangements in Hong Kong may need to be cancelled and car rentals and connections likewise. Then you have the problem of trying to arrange those same things to all be in place and ready for when the person arrives at LAX. Just as you finish making all the revised arrangements is the time that your client normally calls you again to ask you what you can do about the fact that the person in transit doesn't actually have a US Visa!

If that sounds an unlikely scenario, be warned - in reality it happens regularly in business travel jobs. That is also why travel agents are typically demanding in terms of their requirements for people going to work in business travel sections. It is an exciting, dynamic but also potentially highly pressurised environment that may not suit everyone.

Some employers prefer to offer junior and trainee positions in business travel to those who already have general travel agent experience. Others may be willing to offer trainee roles to people without any experience of the travel industry, but they may look very favourably upon those applicants that hold higher academic qualifications in a related travel and leisure field. There is now a wide range of courses offered by numerous colleges, universities and other educational institutions, in various aspects of this industry sector. These may offer qualifications at BA or HNC level and some are accredited by organisations such as IATA and ABTA.

Some employers may be willing to offer business travel jobs to trainees on the proviso that they have reasonable GCSE results, particularly in geography and English although maths is also usually very well received. Employers will also be looking to see evidence that you are the sort of person who:

• enjoys pressure; • is a natural problem solver rather than problem creator; • is a gifted communicator (verbally and in writing).

Business travel jobs offer a pathway to success for the right individual. They can be well rewarded, and successful individuals are usually very sought-after by both travel agents and their corporate clients.