Dear Tammy: I'm a new travel agent and quickly finding out that agents need to have a number of traits in order to provide clients the travel services they want or need, including resilience. Do you agree?
Tammy: Yes, I definitely agree. You just never know what's going to happen in today's world that could affect a clients ability to travel, making it critical for every travel agent to be as resilient as possible. Agents need to be able to handle any type of situation that may come up during their everyday interactions with their clients, and most importantly, in the right manner.
Resilience is essential because it allows agents to handle situations that come their way, and recover from the experience quickly. Resilience means agents know what to do, and how to do it well, giving them the ability to deal with any type of overwhelming situation. Agents who have this trait can solve any problems in the best manner, and then quickly move on to their next task. When agents know how to recover from a difficult situation that's thrown at them, they're likely to be more successful.
A perfect example is the coronavirus scare that's currently happening. This is a tough time for agents. They need to deal with the many people who are not only constantly calling to find out whether or not it's safe to travel, but those who also have lots of additional questions which they expect to get the right answers to. This means agents need to be very knowledgeable in anything that's happening in the world that can potentially affect someone's ability to travel safely.
Other examples of contagions that have affected travel include the zika virus, the swine flu, the norovirus and respiratory disease. Other examples that agents need to deal with that require them to be resilient include understanding how to address drug gang violence in Mexico, how to address questions about tourists who are dying while on vacation (as many times this is fake news), and the recent problems in the Dominican Republic where claims of people being drugged was all over the news.
It's also important for agents to keep up to date on any of President Trump's travel restrictions and bans. For instance, the ban of travel to Iran due to their cases of coronavirus, which may soon include South Korea, Japan, and Italy.
Additional traits and characteristics travel agents should possess include passion, drive, dependability, integrity, knowledge and professionalism.
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