Given that you’re still in business…and we’re still in business…we can all agree that the state of the travel industry is looking good. But to confirm the positive momentum we are seeing, especially among luxury travel agencies and advisors, Virtuoso recently released a comprehensive study, concluding that travel agencies are growing and looking for promising advisor talent. 

But, finding new talent seems to be an issue, with 43 per cent of agencies reporting it is “too difficult to recruit qualified new advisors.” Virtuoso’s study shows that 51 per cent of agencies cite applicant concerns about compensation as a roadblock, while 44 per cent say many potential applicants do not even recognize travel advising is a viable career. 

Still, the future is bright, according to Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch. “Travel advisors are the hottest new thing that never went away,” he says. “Once new entrants see what this industry has to offer, they’re hooked.” 

So in your search for new talent, what facts can you use to entice worthy applicants? 

As consumer interest continues to grow, demand for advisors currently outstrips supply, creating a pressing need to educate potential entrants about the value of the profession and the massive opportunity that awaits them.
”Half the agencies surveyed sell more than $10 million annually and 82 per cent of agencies predict sales growth in the coming year,” says the report. “This creates ample employment for existing travel advisors and those with the right skill set who are seeking a new career, as most agencies need to grow to meet anticipated client demand.” As a result, 67 per cent of Virtuoso-affiliated agencies are planning to hire advisors over the next year.

The travel advisor field is a strong career choice on many levels, including compensation.
“Sixty-two per cent of agencies report their top sellers earn at least $75,000 a year, while 36 per cent report their star advisors make $100,000 or more,” says Virtuoso, nothing that advisor compensation has been growing over the past five years. What’s making the difference? “The near-universal practice of charging fees has helped augment advisor compensation,” according to the organization. “An overwhelming 96 per cent of Virtuoso agencies charge client fees, a practice that establishes the value of their professional services, time and insider connections.”

Then, there’s the access to travel perks.
More than 80 per cent of Virtuoso agencies offer both business and personal travel opportunities to their advisors, while virtually all agencies also provide training opportunities for continued professional development. “Another benefit of the travel advising field: the path to entry does not require a tremendous investment, extensive resume or formal education,” Virtuoso points out. “New advisors enjoy a relatively fast ramp-up period and the majority (53 per cent) of new advisors take only three years to reach an earning level parallel to established staff.”

A few other quick facts to drop to prospective new travel advisors:

  • Travel advising offers exceptional career longevity, with 84 per cent of advisors having been in the profession for more than 10 years and 24 per cent enjoying a career spanning over 20 years.
  • Agencies have not only survived the onslaught of online travel agencies, they have thrived: 90 per cent of agencies have been in business more than 10 years, and a full 84 per cent actually predate the internet boom, with histories spanning more than two decades. This longevity makes the profession a compelling option for individuals seeking a more stable industry and career.



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