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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.

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

  • 6431: Travel Counsellors

2006 NOC-S

  • G711: Travel Counsellors

2011 NOC

  • 6521: Travel counsellors

2016 NOC

  • 6521: Travel counsellors

2021 NOC

  • 64310: Travel counsellors

2023 OaSIS

  • 64310.00: Travel counsellors
Updated May 25, 2021

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
  • Calculate and arrange any applicable charges or refunds if travel plans are altered or cancelled

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
  • Excursion companies or attractions (such as theme parks) offering deals on activities in the area
  • Other travel services, such as travel insurance
Working Conditions
Updated May 25, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Travel Counsellors

2006 NOC: 6431

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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


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


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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated May 25, 2021

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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Travel counsellors

2016 NOC: 6521

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 81 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 31, 2021 and May 24, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Make transportation and accommodation reservations using computerized reservation and ticketing system
Tasks: Provide travel information to clients regarding destinations, transportation and accommodation options and travel costs, and recommend suitable products
Tasks: Sell travel products and travel insurance
Tasks: Provide customers with travel information and other details such as regulations, duty free allowances, health risks and requirements, attractions and special events
Tasks: Attend to cancellations and schedule changes
Tasks: Perform general office duties
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Attention to detail
Tasks: Manage difficult situations with customers
Educational Requirements
Updated May 25, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

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
Thompson Rivers University

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 25, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

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 Travel Counsellor certification. Certification training is accessible from the emerit website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 25, 2021

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 move into travel agency management positions, or open their own travel agencies (emerit also offers certification as a Travel Manager).

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6521: Travel counsellors occupational group, 80.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6521: Travel counsellors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.5% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 26 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated May 25, 2021

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.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 25, 2021

Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) website:

Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) website:

Travel Alberta website, Industry hub:

Tourism HR Canada website:

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

Updated Mar 31, 2021. 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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