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Don’t worry, be happy! Today, 20 March, is International Happiness Day.

Celebrated for the first time in 2013, the United Nations introduced Happiness Day to educate and increase public awareness of the benefits of happiness.

The original idea came from the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayan region of Asia – rumoured to be amongst the happiest people in the world. The reason why they are so happy? They have a holistic approach to life and place as much importance on the well-being of people and communities, as on material wealth.

So, we decided to remind you how awesome it is to work in travel. We chatted to travel agents around South Africa to gauge their opinions on what makes them happy working in travel.

“Progress makes me happy” – Rachael Penaluna, Sure Maritime Travel

 What makes you happy working in travel? 

 Progress makes me happy.  Developing systems and procedures within our agency that make my consultants more professional and productive and show clients that we know exactly what we are doing and how they benefit from our efforts.  We let our clients know about our progress and systems – it is a good marketing tool!

What about travel makes people (clients or staff) happy? 

Travel is complicated.  It used to be that a fabulous holiday was what made consultants and their clients happy.  Nowadays, I believe that clients are happy when they receive efficient, professional and personable service – that makes them believe the money they spend was worth it.

For consultants, the same, but receiving professional service from the suppliers and airlines we use so that consulting is a smooth process.  There is nothing better than a successful consultation and happy clients. This extends to assisting after hours and rescuing clients who are in a bind.  We delegate, to airlines, car rental companies, hotels etc and if they all come to the party, the client is happy and we get positive feedback.

“Make people’s dreams come true,” Charlotte Hlongwane, Club Travel Corporate

When did you fall in love with travel?

I have studied travel and tourism and I got a learner ship its where I started falling in love with travel.

What is the most rewarding part of your job as a travel consultant?

The most rewarding art of being a Travel Agent is seeing the excitement and joy while you are booking a trip for people for which they have been saving for a long time. You make people’s dreams come true. I also love sharing my passion for memorable travel experiences from the start to the end.

Why is being a travel agent one of the best jobs in the world? 

I love travelling so much, you get to learn about different destinations.  I love putting together holidays for others, this is a definitely right job for me.

Would you still get into travel if you had a choice now? 

Definitely a big yes! Travel was my first choice.

Being a travel agent is a job like no other,” Taryn Classens, Sure Travel 24-7

How and why did you get into travel?

I fell in love with travel when I went on a trip to Spain with a friend and her family when I was 15. I decided then and there that I had to find a way to travel the world. After I finished High school I heard about a Diploma that I could get in travel and decided that was my way forward in life. I started my first job in travel 11 years ago and as the saying goes… the rest is history! I have never looked back and I truly feel that travel is my calling.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Making people’s dreams come true and seeing them become as excited and passionate about travel as I am. I also get to work with some amazing people and that makes every day rewarding.

What would you tell your 18-year old self?

Not to worry so much about your career path. You are going to find your passion and you are going to be extremely blessed to travel extensively. Follow your heart and you will be living your best life.

Would you still get into travel if you had a choice now?

Absolutely yes! I would never have had the opportunity to travel like I have if I had chosen another career. This is a very satisfying job and most days it does not feel like a job to me. This is an industry where people stick together. I have made amazing friends along the way and I could not imagine myself doing anything else. Travel has a piece of my heart and always will.

Why is being a travel agent one of the best jobs in the world?

Being a travel agent is a job like no other. You work with amazing people to help make other people’s dreams come true. There is nothing better than a happy client who is already excited to plan their next trip and that’s all because of your assistance and advice. Then the perk of being able to travel and see the world too. There is nothing better than returning back from a trip with a new passion for a destination.

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