Job Specification

Position Title:
Travel Counsellor (French-Designated)
Job Code:
51084 - Travel Counsellor 3
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

As a member of the travel counselling team, you will be required to market Ontario and the tourism industries, services and products, by responding to general inquiries in person, by telephone/in writing, and through researching information, that will assist in the planning and developing of customized travel itineraries. In addition you will be required to maintain reference files, inventory stocking, monitoring inventory levels and perform retail sales functions for merchandise sold at the Centre.

Duties / Responsibilities :

As a member of the travel counselling team, the position will:

1. Assess and determine client information needs and travel/tourism requirements; and utilizing a number of sources to locate the relevant information in order to meet the client's needs. Sources of information that will be utilized include but are not limited to: tourism literature; internet sites and computerized databases; Travel Counsellor's Directory and other reference materials (e.g. ministry publications, industry brochures, regional association brochures, transportation schedules, maps, travel guidance and reference files).

2. Contact tourism/travel industry representatives (e.g. hotels, attractions, agencies, resorts, travel associations) and provincial resource organizations to obtain information to be utilized in the Centres as reference materials and client collateral.

3. Market Ontario as a 4 season travel destination by providing detailed information and suggestions on accommodation attraction and event options; identifying products and services that will enhance and personalized travel plans; encouraging clients to initiate and/or extend their travel plans & return visits within Ontario.

4. Conduct research regarding Ontario tourism products and services; reviewing current ministry publications, on a project basis, for accuracy and completeness; contacting representatives of tourism organizations, events, attractions and facilities to obtain detailed and updated product information; researching to keep updated on any new tourism products available in the market; preparing information sheets and providing information for the preparation of specialized reports (e.g. ski reports, migratory bird reports, fall color reports) that can be utilized to assist with disseminating information and participating in familiarization tours of tourism products, events and facilities.

5. Represent the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation in the promotion of the Ontario tourism products, services, events and attractions at meetings with representatives of schools, community organizations, other ministries and jurisdictions. Transfer of information may be done through a series of mediums such as providing oral and/or audio-visual presentations; counselling services to the general public at ministry information booths, special events and conferences.

6. Responding to public complaints by providing the client with appropriate complaint resolution options to address issues.

7. Co-ordinate and provide administrative services for the efficient operation of the Travel Centres which includes: - inventory control (e.g. order, catalogue, stock all tourism literature); - monitoring building maintenance services (e.g. ensuring that janitorial, snow removal and landscaping services meet quality standards); - identifying and reporting building maintenance or security issues (e.g. broken water pipes, break-ins); - maintaining/recording visitor statistics and preparing reports on trends and issues related to tourism information requests and services at the Travel Centre; - retail sales and cash handling as it relates to the merchandising program; - preparing correspondence in response to mail inquires; - assist with the preparation of the summer student in house training program;

8. Supervising temporary staff (summer and co-op students, agency personnel, unclassified employees), acting as resource, reporting attendance, assigning tasks; assisting with training, scheduling; and providing input into student evaluations to team leader and/or Regional Manager.

Staffing and Licencing :

Must be able to work shift work/evenings, weekends/holidays.
Position requires proficiency in English, and oral French at the advanced level and written French at the advanced-minus level.

Knowledge :

Job requires:

- General knowledge of the Ontario tourism industry products, services, accommodations, destinations, events, attractions, and markets in order to provide timely, accurate information to client inquiries.

- General knowledge of related tourism information resources and Ontario's geography to answer general inquiries and assist in promoting Ontario as a preferred tourist destination.

- General knowledge of customer service practices and procedures to answer general inquiries and prepare travel plans/itineraries.

- General knowledge of computer software applications and internet resources for research of travel information; cash handling skills and administrative functions.

- Analytical skills to identify the nature of each client inquiry, determine response, and provide appropriate information/advice to the client based on knowledge of Ontario; or research of resource materials (e.g. Counsellors are expected to respond to up to 100+ different and unique inquires each day);

- Access/review internet sites and computerized information databases and other resource materials to locate information required by the client pertaining to attractions, accommodations, events and destinations.

- Problem Solving and analytical skills to determine a suitable solution to best meet individual client needs ( e.g. how many in group, age of travellers, how they are travelling, amount of time, budget, etc) and at the same time market/promote Ontario as an attractive travel destination encouraging extended stays/return visits, etc.

- General knowledge of ministry/branch/agency administrative systems and procedures to co-ordinate the organization of administrative operations for the Travel Centre related to: publications /records management by maintaining inventory of updated tourism literature; provision of reports on trends/issues; maintaining visitor statistics; building maintenance/security by monitoring building maintenance services (janitorial, snow ploughing) identifying/reporting maintenance or security issues (broken water pipes, break-ins).

Skills :

Job requires:

- Dependent on location problem solving skills to ensure building maintenance/security of the building and its assets at all times, monitoring of building maintenance services (janitorial, snow ploughing, etc) identifying/reporting maintenance or security issues (broken water pipes, break-ins etc), the position is required to take necessary action to resolve problems e.g.: call police, ORC, janitors, plumbers. Job requires reasoning and problem solving skills to respond to client problems and/or emergencies (e.g. car mechanical breakdown, sick travellers, etc) by arranging for/assisting to determine the appropriate support to assist the client.

- Advanced oral/written communication skills to provide tourism/travel information to clients in person and over the telephone, to ask questions in order to determine client needs, to discuss client accommodation and travel requirements with representatives of travel organizations, hotels, resorts, and transportation carriers in order to obtain information for the client. Verbal communication and interpersonal skills to deliver presentations to organizations in order to promote the Ontario tourism industry. Job requires written communication skills to prepare administrative reports and to write/edit copies for OTMPC tourism publications.

- Consultation, persuasion and interpersonal skills to provide trip planning/ counselling services to clients, to promote/market Ontario as an attractive tourism destination, and to encourage visitors to extend their stay.

- Sales skills as it relates to promoting the tourism industry of Ontario as well as retail sales skills required to promote the merchandising program within the Travel Centre network.

- Position requires proficiency in English and oral French at the advanced level and written French at the advanced-minus level.

Freedom of Action :

Job requires working within government/ministry/agency policies, procedures, guidelines and directives related to the provisions of customer service, administration of the centre (publications, maintenance, requests for supplies), media relations. Job requires working within branch program objectives for assisting and delivering travel counselling services to clients. Job requires making decisions by: determining what information to include/exclude in written/presentation materials, what research is required in responding to client/customer/media information requests. Job requires decision making regarding the administration of the centre, within established branch procedures, related to scheduling, maintenance and security of centres. Job requires dealing with emergency issues (e.g. no water, no electricity, break-ins- by contacting plumber, police, etc) as they arise on own initiative in the absence of the Regional Manager, or Team Leader, who is not usually physically available for immediate guidance or direction, but where assistance is available by telephone. Work is reviewed by Regional Manager for results through the monitoring of complaints, customer feedback, comments in guest books, numbers serviced, and industry feedback. Required to meet the demands of the service. Job requires referring situations which cannot be resolved satisfactorily to the Regional Manager. (i.e. Performance problems, maintenance problems not resolved with a call to action, scheduling issues or problems such as not enough staff due to illness)

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