The term “travel adviser” has been thrown around a lot over the past few years, but what does it really mean?
What’s the difference between a travel consultant and a travel adviser and does it really matter?
Well yes, it does. A travel consultant is someone who sells travel products, but a travel adviser tailors experiences. They get to know their clients and work with them to plot premium adventures and offer expert advice from their own experience and industry know how.
The real difference? It comes with time. Travel adviser is a title you must earn. It’s something you grow into as you progress in your travel career.
One way to take make the leap from consultant to adviser – once you’ve earned your stripes that is – is to switch to a premium company that encourages a bespoke service backed by solid foundations.
Kellie Woodward made the switch to one such brand and she hasn’t looked back since.
Woodward joined Travel Associates after 15 years in the industry, working her way from humble beginnings in a ticketing office to the corporate travel space before finding her home in the premium retail space.
“I LOVE planning people’s holidays and making their dreams a reality. I always say it’s not just a job to me but a passion,” Woodward told Travel Weekly.
Woodward worked in three different retail agency chains before meeting her Travel Associates family, as she calls them, nine years ago.
“A very wise man told me making the move to Travel Associates would change my life… and he was absolutely right,” she said.
“The knowledge and experience I have gained these past nine years is beyond words. Being a travel adviser with Travel Associates is like having my own business within their business and knowing I have the support of such a large successful company is something that provides me with the confidence to explore new things.
“The product exposure, the personal experiences, the career challenges and growth, the rewards we are provided, the friendships made all combined with the freedom to pursue our own business dreams is amazing.”
Two years into her career with Travel Associates, Woodward moved from Canberra to Melbourne leaving her work family and the safety of her office behind to become a full-time home-based Travel Adviser.
“This has provided the perfect work-life balance for myself and my two boys. I’m able to be there before and after school whilst also being able to provide my clients with the attention to detail they deserve,” she said.
Like many travel advisers, Woodward has held onto a strong client base over the years, some tracing back to the start of her retail career in 1998. She said becoming an adviser has helped her grow with her clients and gain an understanding of what they need to make their holiday perfect.
“Whether it be hiking Macchu Pichu or relaxing on a cruise ship, booking two years in advance or booking last minute – I make the time to understand what it is they need,” she said.
As an adviser at a premium brand, Woodward is enabled to make the time to nurture and grow her client relationships on her own terms.
“It’s about mutual respect. Being real. Honesty. Staying in touch and remembering those moments in their lives that are special and celebrating with them.”
If you’re ready to make the leap from travel consultant to travel adviser, check out Travel Associates careers page here.