TOUR OP­ER­A­TOR Travel wise

THE LOW­DOWN

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page -

CLOCK­WORK 9am: Reach of­fice 10am: Call var­i­ous camps and draw out an oc­cu­pancy report 12.30pm: Check so­cial net­work­ing web­sites for queries 1pm: Lunch break 2pm: Meet cor­po­rate clients 3pm: Make a pre­sen­ta­tion on tours of­fered 5pm: Call up camps for check­outs. In­form agents of va­can­cies 6pm: Meet for­eign tourists 7pm: Meet tourism min­istry of­fi­cial for per­mis­sion to set up a camp in his state 9pm: Pack for trip to one of the camps

THE PAY­OFF In a large travel com­pany: Counter clerk: R13,000 to R17,000 a month; As­sis­tant: R18,000 to R20,000 per month; Ju­nior ex­ec­u­tive: R24,000 to R31,000 per month; Re­gional man­ager: R35,000 R50,000 per month For many peo­ple, the de­tails in­volved in plan­ning a va­ca­tion can be over­whelm­ing. This is where tour op­er­a­tors come to peo­ple’s res­cue by or­gan­is­ing and ar­rang­ing all the par­tic­u­lars such as book­ing, trans­porta­tion, lodg­ing, ac­tiv­i­ties, sight­see­ing trips and so forth. Tour op­er­a­tors have to also han­dle tasks such as pre­par­ing brochures, up­dat­ing web­site con­tent and mak­ing on-site vis­its. Work­ing in the travel and tourism in­dus­try is all about mak­ing trav­el­ling an en­rich­ing and en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence. Thus, can­di­dates must have good peo­ple skills, strong ver­bal and writ­ten com­mu­ni­ca­tion abil­i­ties. At­ten­tion to de­tail is es­sen­tial when com­pil­ing an itin­er­ary and travel ac­com­mo­da­tion. Un­der­stand­ing domestic and for­eign cur­rency and cul­tures is im­por­tant. One can start as a trainee tour op­er­a­tor. The next rung is of an as­sis­tant af­ter which one can be­come a ju­nior ex­ec­u­tive. De­pend­ing on one’s in­ter­ests and skills, one can aim to reach the po­si­tion of a re­gional man­ager or start one’s travel busi­ness

to In a smaller out­fit: Trainee tour op­er­a­tor: R5000 to R10,000 per month; Tour op­er­a­tor: R15,000 to R25,000 per month; Travel mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive: R18,000 to R35,000 per month All fig­ures are in­dica­tive and may vary as per skills and ex­pe­ri­ence SKILLS/TRAITS Pleas­ing, ami­able per­son­al­ity Able to trou­bleshoot with ease High level of pa­tience Pres­ence of mind Strong com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills Knowl­edge of key hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions

GET­TING THERE Af­ter com­plet­ing Class 12, do a one-year course in travel and tourism or get a bach­e­lor’s de­gree. Post­grad­u­ate cour­ses are avail­able as well. In the pub­lic sec­tor, one can join state and cen­tral tourism de­part­ments as tourism of­fi­cers, in­for­ma­tion as­sis­tants and tourist guides. In

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