According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of travel agents/advisers remained about the same between 2011 and 2013.
Stable travel agent/adviser numbers despite internet bookings
Travel agent/adviser numbers have remained stable despite the internet making it easier for people to book their own travel and accommodation. This is because many people still prefer to use travel agents/advisers for the following reasons:
- they do not want to supply credit card details online
- complicated, multi-stop trips can be difficult to book online
- it saves time to have someone else complete the bookings.
Travel agents will often match prices that can be found online, which also appeals to travellers.
This is a popular job, so competition for vacancies can be high. Your chances of finding work as a travel agent/adviser are best if you have a Bachelor’s degree in
the field of tourism or have the National Certificate in Travel, as well as relevant experience.
Employers range from small firms to large chains
Most travel agents/advisers work for travel agencies. These may be small family firms employing three or four people, or part of nationwide chains.
Travel advisers also work for information centres (i-SITEs).
- Fraser, J, 'A Helping Hand in Digital Days', Sydney Morning Herald, 19 April 2013, (www.stuff.co.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2013 Occupational Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2013.
- ServiceIQ website, (www.serviceiq.org.nz), accessed February 2014.
- Travel Agents' Association of New Zealand website, (www.taanz.org.nz), accessed February 2014.
Progression and specialisations
Travel agents/advisers may progress into management roles or may start their own business.
They may also specialise in specific roles such as a travel wholesaler (selling airline tickets, accommodation and tours to retail travel agents).