Agents have never worked so hard, some are losing their passion for travel and others are now much happier doing ‘less stressful’ jobs outside the industry, a snapshot of opinion taken by Travel Gossip reveals.
And, while job vacancies are opening up in travel, with companies looking for experienced staff, not all agents who left during the pandemic want to return.
One agent who has stayed in travel said: “I love my job but this last 18 months really has made me lose my passion for it and as hard as it is to say I’m really struggling with being in travel right now and I never ever thought I’d say that.”
Others are determined to stick it out, such as this agent, who told us: “I’m not saying I haven’t thought about leaving travel over the past 18 months, and don’t blame anyone who did at all, however I’m pleased that I was able to continue being there for my long standing and incredibly loyal client base who are now returning to book slowly but surely.
“Hats off to every single person who stuck by the industry during an incredibly tough time.”
Some who have left haven’t looked back.
“I’m not in a hurry to go back to it and I’m now working two stress-free jobs,” one agent said.
Another told us that life as an agent had been getting more difficult before the pandemic put a halt to international travel.
She said: “I don’t remember the job being so stressful when I first started in travel, but in the last few years prior to COVID, I had too many sleepless nights with the worry of it all.
“Then the virus just put the tin hat on it for me and I took the opportunity to get out. I am a support worker now for people with learning disabilities – less pay per hour, but I’m much better off in other ways.
Many agents at the moment are doing other jobs outside of travel, to help bring money in. One told Travel Gossip: “I have a little part-time job. I only do two four-hour shifts on a Monday and Thursday night. It suits me, as my business isn’t affected and it’s been great for my sanity having something else.”
Another told us: “I’ve still got one foot in travel, but my other role outside the industry is significantly better paid.”
A third said: “I was only in travel for a little while but absolutely loved it. I had to leave due to financial cuts last year and have since got another job out of travel where the money is much better but it doesn’t make me feel like travel did.
“I’d love to go back to travel but I don’t think I can afford to take the financial cut now. I’m hoping the experience I’m gaining in my current role might put me into a higher paid role in travel.”
One long standing sales manager who was made redundant during the pandemic is now working at a local Co-op, close to home.
“The pay is a bit lower, but I get paid for the hours I work. When you take into account all those weekends and evenings doing events all around the country, which I didn’t get paid for, the money is pro rata and I have a lot more time. And my new job is just a few minutes away from home. I miss travel but if I was to get another job in the industry, it would have to be quite special.”