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Travel Counsellor

Travel counsellors represent travel suppliers. They advertise, promote and sell a wide variety of travel services to the public.

  • Avg. Salary $32,786.00
  • Avg. Wage $20.03
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 2,200
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Salesperson, Travel Agent, Travel Consultant

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Travel Counsellors (6431) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Travel Counsellors (G711) 
  • 2011 NOC: Travel counsellors (6521) 
  • 2016 NOC: Travel counsellors (6521) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

63%
63%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Travel Counsellor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Travel Counsellors
SOCIAL

Interest in persuading clients by promoting particular destinations, tour packages and other travel services, and by selling single-fare tickets and package tours

METHODICAL

Interest in operating computerized reservation and ticketing systems to make bookings and reservations; and in providing travel details to clients regarding destinations, transportation and accommodation options and costs, and recommending suitable products

INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to investigate new travel destinations, hotels and other facilities and attractions

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2017

In general, travel counsellors:

  • describe and sell travel destinations, products and services to clients
  • access information about costs, routes and schedules from computerized reservation systems and the Internet
  • make reservations using telephone, fax, computerized systems and the Internet
  • issue required documentation, such as electronic tickets, travel insurance policies and itineraries
  • notify customers about changes in travel plans and required documentation
  • calculate and prepare invoices
  • accept payment from customers and pay suppliers.

When routes or schedules change or other factors create the need to alter customer travel plans, travel counsellors must be able to make the necessary adjustments quickly.

Travel agencies may earn commissions by selling the services of suppliers such as:

  • transportation companies, such as airlines, motor coach companies, railway passenger services, cruise lines and car rental companies
  • accommodation facilities, such as hotels and resorts
  • cruise lines
  • travel wholesale and tour companies offering package holidays
  • other travel services, such as travel insurance.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Most travel counsellors work in travel agencies located in towns or cities, but a growing number work from their homes. Most of a travel counsellor’s work day is spent consulting with clients and completing paperwork. They often are subject to time pressures. They need to work overtime during peak travel periods, when clients’ travel plans change or when socio-political events or natural disasters occur.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Travel counsellors are sales representatives who are responsible for encouraging customers to return and use their agency’s services again. Therefore, they need:

  • a good memory
  • patience and a pleasant manner to deal with all types of people
  • attention to detail
  • well-developed sales skills
  • math skills
  • typing and computer skills
  • organization skills
  • a working knowledge of global geography
  • the ability to serve customers quickly and efficiently
  • the ability to handle stressful situations calmly and effectively.

They should enjoy working with people and promoting travel products, performing detailed work and taking a methodical approach to compiling information, and operating computerized systems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Travel counsellors should have at least a high school diploma. Travel agencies generally prefer to hire people who have:

  • sales experience
  • travel experience
  • office experience
  • fluency in a second language.

It is beneficial to have completed travel-related courses or programs at the post-secondary level.

Prospective students are strongly advised to discuss their career and education plans with people employed in the travel industry before enrolling in an education program.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

Grant MacEwan University

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Thompson Rivers University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Some employers prefer to hire people who are certified. Voluntary certification is available through the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA). The designations offered include Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) and Certified Travel Manager (CTM).

Tourism HR Canada offers voluntary emerit Tour Guide certification. Recognized across Canada, it leads to the Tourism Certified Professional (TCP) designation. Certification training is accessible from the emerit website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Travel counsellors are employed by:

  • retail travel agencies
  • wholesale tour companies
  • transportation and tourism companies
  • travel insurance companies
  • hotel chains
  • government tourist boards.

Qualifications for employment vary considerably from one employer to another. Inexperienced workers may start in clerical positions and take night courses or in-service training while they are gaining experience. Advancement depends on the travel counsellor’s sales ability and initiative, and the size of the company. Some experienced travel counsellors open their own travel agencies.

In Alberta, 92% of people employed as travel counsellors work in the Business, Building and Other Support Services [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Business, Building and Other Support Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the G711: Travel Counsellors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.4% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 38 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Salaries, working conditions and travel benefits vary greatly from one employer to another. Many travel agencies have incentive plans where wages are based on sales productivity.

Depending on their agency’s sales performance, travel counsellors may qualify for reduced rates for air, cruise and hotel arrangements. Educational tours are offered to travel agencies by suppliers, and counsellors usually attend 1 tour a year.

Travel counsellors

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $21.79 $16.21 $16.00
Overall $15.00 $27.47 $20.03 $20.66
Top $15.00 $43.96 $29.90 $28.67

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

63%
63%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

87%
87%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

28%
28%

Vacancy Rate

4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) website: www.ahla.ca

Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) website: www.acta.ca

Travel Alberta website, Industry hub: industry.travelalberta.com

Tourism HR Canada website: tourismhr.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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