I suppose I was vaguely aware that the public at large thinks a job in the travel industry does not require any experience and is, for the main part, one long holiday – I now know the perception is worse than that!
Ihave just advertised for staff experienced inshort-haul, long-haul and tailor-made travel to join our rapidly growing non-shop front agency. I described the quality of service our clients expect and then sat back waiting for applications to come in – and they did. In three days we had over 50 phone calls and innumerable letters – only one with any experience at all! A lot of the other applicants were amazed (and some not very polite when it was explained to them) that they actually needed to have done more than go on holiday every year to work at a senior level in travel – though one gentleman hadvisited 35 countries, another had for years booked his own flights and hotels, ‘cutting out the agent altogether’ and one applicant was presently selling Star Wars tickets on telesales and finding it too hectic – she obviously had not seen my desk.
Perhaps we should launch a Travel Agent Awareness Week to try to make the public aware of how much experience, knowledge and work goes into making their travel arrangements.
Margaret May, Journeys a la Carte, Uttoxeter
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