Introduction to Travel Services

by Egi Gaisie

Travel can be exciting. Travelers are about 90% in the mode of anticipation, not just about the planning process, but daydreaming; imagining a variety of experiences they may be encountering.

Careers in the travel industry can be exciting too…challenging and varied and require hard work and dedication. Many people pursue lifelong careers in hospitality and tourism, but what is pursuing careers in the travel industry really about?

Focusing on the aviation industry, I have been looking at careers from ground operations/services to flight operations because these careers are more structured than other popular forms of transportation in Ghana, like the automobile /road transport. The aviation industry offers a wide range of career options. Refer to the last three articles (Article 1, Article 2, Article 3) which carry conversations with the Country Representative of South African Airlines.

The history of travel began with traveling by foot. Today we have choices of means to travel; motor bicycles, automobile, train, boat, bus, airplane, ship or other means, with or without luggage, and it may be one way or round trip. A traveler’s choice depends on their motives for traveling and the service expectations of travelers are heavily influenced by their travel motives.

Travel services refer to various amenities and assistance provided to individuals or groups while traveling. Some common travel services include:

a. Flight booking and management

b. Hotel reservations and accommodations

c. Visa processing and application assistance

d. Travel insurance services

e. Tour packages and itinerary planning

f. Transportation services (car rentals, taxi bookings, etc.)

g.  Travel guidance and advisories

h. Language translation and interpretation

i. Currency exchange and payment services

j. Concierge services (e.g., restaurant reservations, event ticketing)

Travel services are provided by various entities, such as travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, hotels, and online travel platforms. Among the largest areas of servicing the travel industry are travel sales. This involves travel agents, travel wholesalers and sales representatives for larger travel companies. Just as various industries reach their ultimate customers through wholesalers and distributors, the travel industry also uses intermediaries to reach their consumers although there are also new developments in technology enabling travelers to ‘serve themselves’. Travel wholesalers negotiate with hotels, airlines, attractions and the like to create products variety for agents to sell. Travel agents are the front line of retail travel sales. They help people make travel arrangements.

Their services, TRAVEL SERVICES, include booking airline seats, purchasing tickets, car rental services, making arrangements for places to stay, places to eat, places to shop and giving information about things to do and see. Their services may also be as simple as having questions answered about the availability of tourism services!

There’s a place for you…here

Watch out for a series of weekly conversations with professionals in this noble profession.

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