Traveling to an unfamiliar location for vacation should be fun, but it is often a source of stress for travelers, especially for those who are uneasy about venturing to a new location on their own. Tourist operators often hire transfer representatives, also known as holiday representatives, to look after clients who have purchased travel packages to stay at resorts. A good transfer representative works hard to ensure that they have a great vacation.
Making a Good First Impression
The transfer representative is usually the first point of contact for a tourist operator's clients when they arrive at the airport. As such, a good attitude and winning smile goes a long way toward putting clients at ease and in a good mood for their vacation. Her first duty upon their arrival is usually to oversee the transportation of the clients to their accommodations. Once at the resort, she will give a brief speech about the resort and its amenities and ensure that everyone is booked into their rooms.
A Day in the Life
There really are no typical days in the life of a transfer representative. Each day brings a new adventure. Transfer representatives may handle client issues, such as lost passports or luggage, assist when there are problems with accommodations, and may even help resolve disagreements between clients. They often accompany clients on guided tours and assist in organizing day and nighttime entertainment. As part of their duties, transfer representatives also sell and organize excursions, and arrange car rentals and other services.
Becoming a Transfer Representative
There are no specific qualifications to becoming a transfer representative. It does not require a degree, but receiving an education in hospitality and tourism management, leisure and tourism, or tourism business management is often helpful in obtaining the position. Most tour operators look for job candidates who have experience in customer service, particularly in the hotel and tourism industry. Since the position is often stressful, the job also requires a good sense of humor, good problem-solving abilities and an outgoing personality.
What to Expect
Working as a transfer representative is not a nine-to-five job. Hours are long and it is not uncommon to work six days a week. Although the starting pay is low, there is ample opportunity to increase this salary through commissions from selling excursions and other services. Transfer representatives may also receive free accommodations,flights, and access to the resort's amenities.
Moving to Greener Pastures
Though working as a transfer representative is a rewarding experience, it is also a demanding job. Most transfer representatives leave the job after about two years. It is often worth the experience, however, as they may go on to become resort managers, regional area managers, or become part of the recruitment process for new staff. They may also stay with the tour operator, but advance into a different area of the company, such as consumer affairs, guest services management, or specialist resort management. Other opportunities may include becoming a travel agent, or working with tourist boards or at tourist information centers.
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