Travel Industry Is Currently a Dream Market for Agents

Survey reports now is the ideal time for travel agents to find a new job or reenter the market By: Michelle Juergen
A recent survey shows a strong job market for agents. // © 2015 Thinkstock
A recent survey shows a strong job market for agents. // © 2015 Thinkstock

The Details

Travel Staffing Group

Travel agents are currently seeing a dream job market, according to a recent survey from Travel Staffing Group.

Why It Matters:
The survey of 72 human resource departments and hirers throughout the travel industry found that 70 percent of respondents are having trouble finding qualified applicants. The study, conducted from January through March of this year, shows that more travel agencies are hiring at a time when experienced agents are in short supply, that salaries are on the rise and that more employers are spending money to find talent. Many respondents reported hiring agents who are reentering the industry after leaving during difficult periods.

Fast Facts:
- The respondents represented those hiring for different areas of the industry: 33.3 percent for leisure travel agencies; 33.3 percent for corporate travel agencies; 14.8 percent for travel management companies; 11.1 percent for tour operators; and 7.5 percent for contractors.

- The demographic of most job seekers is 55 years old, according to Douglas Walsh, CEO of Travel Staffing Group.

- The supply of travel agents diminished after Sept. 11 and the recession, as agents left the industry to find other work, according to Walsh.

- Job boards are the primary way respondents look for new agents. However, according to Walsh, hiring through job boards can be problematic because of inaccurate job descriptions and no inclusion of salary. Walsh reports seeing more employers using headhunters to remedy this.

- 35 percent of respondents said they would use social media to source future employees.

What They Are Saying:
“I think it’s a job seekers dream right now,” Walsh said. “People who put resumes on our site get view after view after view. If they have the experience and credentials, they won’t be unemployed for too long.”