EDCC Logo
 
Hospitality and Tourism

Resources

Travel Skill Standards

The goal of the Travel, Tourism and Transportation Skill Standards Project is to specify the knowledge, skills and abilities an individual needs to succeed as an entry-level Travel Consultant working in a travel agency, tour company, cruise company or as an airline reservationist or customer service agent. The performance criteria and technical knowledge identified through this project will support both the development of new curriculum and the strengthening of existing curriculum in schools and colleges that train students for a career in the travel industry.

The travel industry is currently undergoing sweeping changes as more people in the United States are traveling than ever before. Cruise lines are debuting new ships at a rapid pace, and cruising is becoming a viable vacation option for a larger portion of the population.

Tour companies are also experiencing continued demand and growth. The airline industry has made dramatic changes in the structure of its reservation and ticketing distribution system. An increasing consumer reliance on the internet as a booking tool as well as a lowering of the commission/pay structure previously paid to travel agents is causing many full-service travel agencies to rethink their marketing and product mix and to move their emphasis to the sale of tours, cruises and other travel products.

As a result, tour companies and cruise lines are expanding their hiring of well-trained reservations and sales people. Thus students entering the travel industry today must have a well-rounded and complete resume of skills and competencies in order to adapt and prosper as the industry continues to evolve.

This project represents a close partnership between education and the travel, tourism and transportation industries. Two focus groups were used to develop and define the skill standards (including the functions, tasks, and performance criteria) presented in this book. The first focus group was made up of representatives from all aspects of the travel industry (including an airline representative). The second focus group was made up solely of airline professionals.

The Skill Standards Steering Committee for this project includes professionals who have experience in reservations, sales and marketing in travel agencies, the airlines, and tour and cruise companies. In addition, the research findings were validated through a mail survey of over 1100 travel-related companies in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Our survey response rate was over 20%. Continuous updating of the research obtained through this project will be a necessity for its continued usefulness.

About Skill Standards

The following skill standards charts and accompanying validation graphs represent the most important part of our work on skill standards. They contain all of the technical components identified by our focus groups and validated by our survey which are necessary for success as a travel consultant. Each chart contains the following five components:

Function or Job Duty Task
Functions represent the general areas of responsibility for the travel consultant.
The tasks are a listing of key activities performed by workers in a given occupation.
The focus group was asked, "What are the key activities needed to perform this function?
Performance Criteria.
Performance criteria relate to each task and measure how well the task was performed. They also represent a further definition of the task.
Technical Knowledge.
Technical skills, knowledge and abilities (including tools) are those areas of expertise which a travel consultant must have in order to perform a task well
SCANS Skills and Personal Qualities.
Foundation skills are basic academic and employability skills that are needed to build more advanced competencies.
These skills and qualities are necessary for continued success in the modern workforce.

Following this section are a series of case studies and scenarios which reflect actual workplace experiences. They represent the broad range of job types that are available for a trained travel consultant. For each scenario we have noted the tasks and performance criteria that relate to that particular job. The scenarios will give you some examples of the varied tasks and abilities that you might encounter in the various workplaces in the travel industry.

Return to Top


Skill Standards Grid: Occupation Cluster: Travel Consultant Critical Work Function: Developing itineraries

Key Activity

Performance Indicators
How do we know when the task is performed well?
Technical Knowledge
Skills, Abilities, Tools
Employability Skills
SCANS Skills and Personal Qualities
Explore options with vendors
Client needs are met.
Options are thoroughly and consistently explored.
Options exploration is performed according to company policy.
Where applicable, individuals work effectively as a team.
Knowledge of and ability to utilize sources of vendor information.
Knowledge of the use of customer qualifiers.
Knowledge of company policies regarding vendor research.
Management of time
Self Management
Management of materials
Acquiring information
Listening
Interpreting information
Confirm reservations
Return to Top
Finalize arrangements with clientResearch destinations and travel options
Return to Top

Occupation Cluster: Travel Consultant Critical Work Function: Processing reservations

KEY ACTIVITY

Performance Indicators
How do we know when the task is performed well?
Technical Knowledge
Skills, Abilities, Tools
Employability Skills
SCANS Skills and Personal Qualities
Issue tickets and vouchers
Perform documentation
Return to Top
Perform accounting proceduresReview documents with client
Return to Top

Occupation Cluster: Travel ConsultantCritical Work Function: Performing Sales Activities

KEY ACTIVITY

Performance Indicators
How do we know when the task is performed well?
Technical Knowledge
Skills, Abilities, Tools
Employability Skills
SCANS Skills and Personal Qualities
Develop personal client list
Close salesAttend industry functions
Return to Top
Answer incoming calls for sales and customer service
Return to Top

Occupation Cluster: Travel Consultant Critical Work Function: Performing research

KEY ACTIVITY

Performance Indicators
How do we know when the task is performed well?
Technical Knowledge
Skills, Abilities, Tools
Employability Skills
SCANS Skills and Personal Qualities
Maintain and update personal resource materials
Research destinationsParticipate in educational trips
Return to Top
Attend industry functions
Return to Top

Occupation Cluster: Travel Consultant Critical Work Function: Performing customer service

KEY ACTIVITY

Performance IndicatorsHow do we know when the task is performed well?Technical KnowledgeSkills, Abilities, ToolsEmployability SkillsSCANS Skills and Personal QualitiesIdentify and refer customer issues and challengesMaintain customer contact
Return to Top

Occupation Cluster: Travel ConsultantCritical Work Function: Performing airport check-in

KEY ACTIVITY

Performance Indicators
How do we know when the task is performed well?
Technical Knowledge
Skills, Abilities, Tools
SCANS Skillsand Personal Qualities
Foundational Abilities
Perform security checks
Issue tickets and boarding passes
Return to Top
Tag luggageResolve travel problems for customersProvide airport information
Return to Top