An incentive travel specialist has a niche career within the massive travel sales industry. An incentive specialist typically works for an agency or for a company that provides travel or vacation accommodations. The primary role is to make sales calls to targeted prospects, offering travel package incentives, awards or inducements.
Call on Prospects
An incentive specialist is essentially a sales rep. Many travel companies or planning agencies use travel rewards or discounts as an enticement to get customers to consider a larger purchase. You might call and make an offer to a prospect selected for a discounted vacation package. Your goal is to sell the package, which usually involves the customer agreeing to meet with a sales rep to discuss resort or vacation rental purchases for future use.
As you make sales, your role shifts more to customer service and travel planning. You must book the transportation, accommodations and entertainment tickets included as part of the package. Once you've contacted all the providers and arranged for all facets of the trip, you then prepare a portfolio of package documents for the customer. This portfolio details the itinerary, any necessary vouchers or proof documents and follow-up meeting times.
In many work settings, you also have a product development role as an incentive specialist. You help develop and revise the award packages or discounts promoted to customers. This role is particularly common if you work for an incentive travel agency that carries out work for providers. Developing effective incentive programs and scripts is important to your ability to entice guests to accept packages.
Business or marketing education is useful in this position. Most employers look for a combination of experience and skills in selling, hospitality and the travel industry. Direct sales, telemarketing or direct marketing background is especially valuable. Additionally, some employers want someone with broad travel experience, especially if you offer global packages. Some international agencies offer certification programs specific to incentive specialists, where you receive advanced training in this field.