As an 87 year old who has worked as a travel agent since 1982, I have seen the travel industry and the technology around it change drastically over the decades.
When I first started out, everything was done manually. Customer records were kept on cards, you made airline reservations over the phone, wrote out tickets by hand, and the print version of the Official Airline Guide was your bible. This was obviously not the most efficient way to operate, but thankfully technology has really revolutionised the travel planning process.
A great example of this came a few years ago when World Corporate Travel migrated to Amadeus Selling Platform Connect. What surprised me the most about it, was the ease of learning how to use the new technology.
After just three days of training, I was easily able to check availability, look up fares, and place reservations. It also gave me the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime. This is especially important for me as I work from home several days during the week and value the extra time I can spend with my family.
Reflecting on my career, I am amazed by how far technology has come and how it has really made the life of travel agents so much more efficient.
My biggest tips for travel agents looking to have a career as long as mine is to keep your mind active, be positive, and above all be passionate about what you do.