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A day in the life of a travel agent

Posted on 08/07/2015 by
Michelle is the Manager of Harvey World Travel Botany

Michelle, Manager of Harvey World Travel Botany, shares what it’s like to work as a travel agent

What’s it really like to work as a travel agent? We recently interviewed Michelle Savusa, Manager at Harvey World Travel Botany, about her exciting career. Michelle has over 21 years of experience in the travel industry and has been working for Harvey World Travel for more than a decade. She was kind enough to share with us some of the wisdom she’s learned along the way.

ITC: Describe a typical day in your job – what is it really like to work for a travel agency?

Michelle: Each day can be very different and often unpredictable. We receive enquiries via phone, walk-in and email. Most of our day is spent on the following tasks:

  • Consulting with clients to design a holiday that suits their individual preferences
  • Booking travel for clients
  • Creating itineraries & packaging documents
  • Responding to emails
  • Liaising with suppliers
  • Training & development
  • Completing accounting on our account files

As a Manager, I spend a lot of my day running the day-to-day operations of our store which involves meeting with my consultants, organising local store marketing, completing accounts & administration functions and also liaising with clients and suppliers.

ITC: What is the best part about your job?

Michelle: Designing holidays of a lifetime for our clients and hearing how much they enjoyed their experiences.

ITC: Do you have any advice for people wanting a career in travel and tourism?

Michelle: My advice would be to begin with researching various parts of the travel industry to see which area is best aligned with your natural strengths & preferences. You may move to various other parts of the industry throughout your career, so, in the words of Jon Bon Jovi; “Map out your future, but do it in pencil”.

ITC: What skills do you personally look for in new employees?

Michelle: The main attributes I look for during an interview is whether the candidate has a friendly personality, is approachable, able to work in a team, accurate, able to communicate effectively (written & verbal), able to manage their time effectively, flexible with working hours and keen to progress their career with our company.

My motto is, “I can teach anyone to book a flight however I cannot teach someone to be friendly”. In our line of work, it is crucial that our team are friendly and relate well to all customers and colleagues.

Applicants should also have completed a travel qualification.

ITC: Any last words of advice?

Michelle: Throughout my career I’ve learned to put myself in the customer’s shoes and see things from their perspective. For example, someone might ask about a flight to Wellington and we may initially consider this to be something small. In fact, this could be their first time on an aircraft and they may be very excited about a trip to Wellington. Get excited for them and they will continue to book with you for many years… even referring their friends and family.

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2 Responses to “A day in the life of a travel agent”

  1. ITC connects high schools with tourism industry says:

    […] the day attendees heard from several leading voices in the New Zealand tourism industry, including Michelle Savusa from Harvey World Travel, Cory Roberts from Aerocare Flight Support and Riza Suryo from Sudima […]

  2. stem strand says:

    That’s incredible! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and knowledge with us. I’m looking forward to learning more.

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