A young agent with six years’ experience at a large travel consortium says the COVID-19 crisis will set her back quite significantly in her budding career.
Unlike her seniors and mentors in the travel agent business who have experienced other devastating global events impacting travel, she says she could never have prepared herself for anything like this.
She is most worried about all the ground she’s gained trying to build up stable relationships with clients for repeat business opportunities. Without the support of steady, reliable clientele, her sales targets and commission are shrinking.
According to this agent, young agents have to move from one consortium to the next quite frequently because it is difficult to compete with experienced agents with well-established client bases.
“I don’t blame travellers for relying on more senior travel agents in the industry. I would also rely on someone who’s been around the block in these difficult and uncertain times.”
However, this makes it difficult for her to cement her place in the industry. Now she is worried about securing her place in retail travel because sales have come to a standstill, companies are restructuring and she still has bills to pay.
In spite of this, she is optimistic and believes her youth gives her more time and flexibility to recover once demand picks up again. “It is very hard for me to imagine how we will all get through this and I know that this will affect my career going forward. I am happy about things going more digital. I think this gives me the upper hand to adapt to the new travel industry landscape.”