There are many diverse roles in the travel industry that require a number of different skills and attributes. Becoming a holiday rep is only one of these jobs that is seen by many to be one of the lowest rungs of the ladder in a travel industry career. This opinion is not always true however, the holiday rep is at the forefront of the industry, coping with customers while they are on holiday and keeping the standards of the company at all times. While some may see these jobs as roles for people who simply want to have a good time and travel for free; what is rarely realised is that being a holiday rep requires hard work, long hours and a constant smile.
In terms of benefits these jobs give employees the chance to escape the nine to five world of work and for those who live in the UK the opportunity to avoid the nasty inclement weather. As well as this the holiday rep is a valuable part of the social scene and can enjoy being part of a community of workers abroad.
In addition these jobs give workers the chance to secure great deals while working. Reps are usually given discounts in local restaurants and bars; in some cases it is even possible to secure drinks and food for free. In club resorts, reps are usually given free entry in the knowledge that they will give holidaymakers a recommendation of the clubs they visit.
While pay is not great in these travel jobs the opportunity to earn commission is large. A considerable element to the holiday rep pay structure is made from signing tourists up to excursions and trips. As well as this, holiday reps can work all over the world, whether this is summer resorts in Europe, further afield in the Far East or in the ski resorts of Europe and America. By traversing the world, being a holiday rep can truly be considered an all year round job.
There are however downsides to being a rep, these jobs can be highly stressful. The majority of reps agree that the first six weeks are always the hardest, being away from home can be lonesome and staying happy at these times can be the most difficult part of the job. Once the first six weeks are over though, most agree that a good time can be had by all.
Responsibility is also a major factor in these travel jobs. A rep is normally responsible for a bunch of holidaymakers throughout their holiday. Being in charge means that certain situations will require a great deal of tact and diplomacy. For instance injuries and accidents are an inevitable part of the job while in the most extreme cases a holiday rep may have to deal with the death of a holidaymaker. While these instances are rare they should be prepared for.
As well as these occurrences the hours put in by reps can often be arduous. In many resorts flights come into airports at all hours of the day meaning that some reps have to party all night with guests and then wake early to meet the next lot of holidaymakers off the plane. Subsequently, the sleep patterns and body clocks of people in these jobs are hardly ever regular, subsequently having high levels of stamina are essential.
In general work as a holiday rep is good fun and a great experience. There are downsides but this is no different from other jobs. With the appeal of travel these jobs are understandably popular with many who have a love of different cultures and a good time.
Career expert Thomas Pretty looks into different types of travel jobs and particularly the work of holiday reps.