For many young people finding a job in the summer holidays is a chance to make money and gain valuable experience for their CVs. Some students take it as an opportunity to discover what they would like to do in their further education.
In this article travel careers expert Neil Maxwell-Keys will be sharing what it takes to be a holiday rep, what employers will be looking for, and what day-to-day life is like on the job.
A holiday representative is responsible for looking after groups of clients on package holidays at resorts across the world.
Most holiday reps are typically aged between 18 and 35
Their main job role is to ensure that clients enjoy their holiday and provide excellent customer service so the holiday makers enjoy their stay.
Holiday reps will hold welcome meetings, handle complaints, set up and run holiday activities plus assist on excursions and tours.
You don't need any specific qualifications to be a holiday rep as most tour operator's look for relevant communication and customer service skills, a confident and enthusiastic personality and being able to work as part of a team. However, most tour operators seek candidates with experience of working in a customer service or travel and tourism role.
Although it's not required a diploma or holiday rep certificate will make you stand out from the other candidates and ensure job interviews.
Salary and Conditions
A holiday rep starting salary is usually between £450 and £500 per calendar month. This can rise between £700 and £800 per month for more experienced reps. Not mega bucks, but you will normally benefit from free flights, accommodation, meals or a food allowance.
Other benefits include discounted or free excursions and holidays, use of company cars in leisure time, use of hotel swimming pools and tennis courts, discounted prices in bars and restaurants and cheaper accommodation for family or friends who visit. These are usually arranged on an ad hoc basis within the resort and at the discretion of management
Many applicants come into this industry with the mistaken belief that working as a holiday rep is nothing more than a long holiday. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth! Working as a holiday rep can involve a lot of long, unsociable hours and living out of your suitcase, all while being away from your friends and family for long periods of time.
A holiday rep has three key roles to play, which are vital for any applicant to understand before applying successfully. The key roles of a holiday rep are; to represent the tour operator to the best of your abilities, provide an exceptional customer experience and generate revenue for the tour operator. Once you understand this you can demonstrate your suitability for the role.
If you do decide this is the right role for you, once you secure an interview I'd also advise researching the tour operator you are applying to. Most holiday rep applicants do not spend enough time researching the tour operators they are applying to which affects their chances of employment.
You will be asked specific questions about the tour operator, how it operates, what destinations they fly to and other important facts that you need to know as a holiday rep. By demonstrating at the interview that you have researched the tour operator thoroughly, you show a higher level of commitment and you also demonstrate that you are committed to working with them.
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