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Travel Consultant.png

Level: 3 Duration: 18 to 24 months

Occupational Profile:

Travel consultants have a highly responsible role as they provide outstanding customer service, delivering a range of often complex travel arrangements, accommodation bookings and ancillary services which help to ensure their travellers benefit from journeys and time at their destination that is positive and aims to exceed their expectations. Usually travel consultants specialise in either ‘corporate’ or ‘leisure’ travel but either way employers agree that their essential knowledge, skills and behaviours are transferable across the industry.

Entry criteria: Applicants will be assessed and interviewed to demonstrate that they have the ability to cover the range required by the apprenticeship standard, at work. In addition, the apprentices are expected to carry out initial assessments in English and Maths where they would be expected to ideally achieve Level 1 in both subject areas. If an apprentice has a GCSE in Maths and English or ICT at A*- C, they don’t need to complete functional skills as a part of the apprenticeship.

Delivery Model: The standard delivery model for this apprenticeship is:
 Day release at the college (Tottenham centre)
 It can also be delivered as a block delivery model for discrete cohorts for employers who have large enough groups

Progression: Individuals that successfully achieve the travel consultant apprenticeship standard will be well placed to progress within the industry into leadership or specialist travel roles and onto a higher level of training or apprenticeship in management.

Additional information: There are no entry requirements to the apprenticeship but employers may run
their own selection process. Apprentices without Level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to completion of their Apprenticeship.

Skills:

Corporate Travel Consultant

You will need to:
 Corporate travel consultants typically work according to service level agreements, taking care of the unique needs of business travellers, and know how to tailor itineraries that ease their door to door experience, taking account of factors that may impact on their trip including location and times, business facilities and corporate budgets. A key part of a corporate travel consultant’s role is appreciating that their customer must account for every single expense when travelling for business, and so must ensure travel time is organised and used as effectively as possible, and in compliance with the customer’s corporate policy or preferred choices.

Leisure Travel Consultant

You will need to:
 Leisure travel consultants work in a fast paced, customer focused sales environment which aims to sell experiences and memories and meet the unique needs of leisure customers by sourcing and matching them to a variety of travel options within their budget including: tailor made itineraries, package holidays, special interest holidays, weddings abroad, cruises and seasonal activity based holidays. A key part of a leisure consultant’s role is keeping ahead of the ever increasing demand from customers for new and different leisure experiences.

Geography

You will need to:
 Source and provide reliable and relevant geographical information that will help inform enquiries, support customers’ travel decisions and close sales
You will be able to:
 Know a varied range of world-wide geography and popular travel destinations to help inform customers’ travel plans

Travel information

You will need to:
 Source and provide accurate and relevant travel information that will ensure customers have a positive travel experience
You will be able to:
 Know travel information including: passport and visa requirements, diversity for example local cultures, customs and tradition, differences in time zones, climate, medical safety information, foreign office advice and foreign exchange information

Industry practice

You will need to:
 Carry out transactions, using a range of reservation and booking systems, according to standard industry practices and the procedures of the business, ensuring that customers are offered travel options that will meet their individual needs within agreed deadlines
You will be able to:
 Know the travel industry and the systems that support it, including those for reservations and booking, the importance of booking the correct product / service and key information such as travel terminology, abbreviated industry codes, preferred operators’ current fare and ticketing rules, and travel regulations

Travel options

You will need to:
 Source travel options, work with relevant industry suppliers and produce detailed itineraries that best meet customers’ needs
You will be able to:
 Know the variety and alternative combination of travel options that are available to customers including modes of transportation, types of accommodation and how to produce an itinerary that will meet customers’ precise needs fare and ticketing rules, and travel regulations

Product and service

You will need to:
 Match customer needs to products and services and identify opportunities to up-sell, suggest alternatives, introduce an enhanced competitive offer when appropriate and always aim to maximise profit when closing the sale
You will be able to:
 Know the unique selling points of travel products and services and understand how to match their features to benefit the customer and provide an enhanced competitive proposition

Customer

You will need to:
 Engage customers by building rapport and take opportunities to adapt communication styles to match their needs and deliver an enhanced service which encourages repeat business and consistently aims to exceed their expectations
You will be able to:
 Know different customer profiles, including sole travellers and groups, how to recognise and identify their requirements and individual needs, their preferred method(s) of booking travel, the need for providing a flexible service to support the process, and how to meet the increasing demand for an enhanced travel experience

Legal and compliance

You will need to:
 Conduct the business transaction in compliance with travel industry regulations, approved codes of practice and business policy and continuously monitor the process to ensure accurate information and advice is given to customers
You will be able to:
 Know how to keep customers’ details safely and to lawfully process business transactions, recognising the connection with travel industry regulations, business compliance and relevant legislation

Industry technology

You will need to:
 Use technology effectively and efficiently and input data accurately in accordance with business procedures
You will be able to:
 Know how to utilise technology in line with customer and business requirements and the scope of technology used within the business and the industry as a whole

Business

You will need to:
 Actively support business performance by meeting agreed targets and providing travel solutions for customers varying needs and budgets in a way that is profitable to the business
You will be able to:
 Know the business vision, objectives and brand standards, the market it competes in, external factors that affect customer behaviour and business performance and understand the importance of meeting customers’ needs profitably

Sales

You will need to:
 Achieve and exceed commercial targets by applying selling techniques that are appropriate to all customer types, take opportunities to maximise sales for example by selling promotions and preferred supplier programmes and maximise financial performance by up-selling, cross-selling and calculating fares and refunds accurately
You will be able to:
 Know how to operate commercially with the aim of exceeding sales target, how to calculate complex travel costings, understanding the difference between turnover and profit, and how own targets contribute to achieving the overall sales budget

Team and personal performance

You will need to:
 Work constructively with team members to deliver travel plans and experiences that meet customer needs and recognise opportunities for self and team development to improve performance
You will be able to:
 Know and understand the factors that both motivate and impair individual and team performance and recognise how own and team dynamics impact on the experience of the customer and ultimately business success

Communication

You will need to:
 Select and use appropriate methods of communication including digital technologies according to the customer and the nature of the travel details being conveyed, ensuring quotes and prices are presented accurately
You will be able to:
 Understand how to professionally communicate to different audiences using a variety of methods, including available digital resources

Sustainability

You will need to:
 Adapt working practices to minimise the negative effect on the environment
You will be able to:
 Understand the impact that the business activity has on the environment and the organisation’s approach to operate in a more responsible and sustainable manner

Behaviours:

Core Behavioural Attributes

Geography:
 Proactively keep up to date with worldwide geography and current affairs that could impact on customers
Travel information:
 Proactively keep up to date with travel information according to the customer profile of the business and the ever changing dynamics of the industry
Industry practice:
 Take a keen interest in travel industry developments to keep professional knowledge current and up to date
Travel options:
 Demonstrate commercial awareness and consideration for customers’ unique needs when selecting and combining different elements of customers’ travel plans
Product and service:
 Promote confidence in customers by demonstrating a passion and belief in the products and services being sold
Customer:
 Respond positively and imaginatively to customers’ requirements, demonstrating an enthusiasm to inspire and delight them
Legal and compliance :
 Be diligent in upholding protocols and business reputation to ensure customers receive the best quality service and advice and communicate and explain emerging issues and updates
Industry technology :
 Use technology responsibly and embrace developments in travel technology
Business:
 Engage with the culture and ethos of the business and be a positive advocate and driver for high quality performance and achievement
Sales:
 Proactively seek ways of engaging customers to increase and enhance sales
Team and personal performance:
 Evaluate own personal performance in a consistently positive and professional manner, take on feedback and welcome personal development opportunities
Communication:
 Be clear and coherent to effectively communicate accurate and complex information professionally and confidently to a diverse audience, in line with business expectations
Sustainability:
 Demonstrate an on-going commitment to reducing impact on the environment in all work activities

End Point Assessment:

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