THE ROLE OF TRANSFER REPRESENTATIVE


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Asia » India » Sikkim » Gangtok
April 29th 2008
Published: May 2nd 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

MYSELFMYSELFMYSELF

As a Transfer Representative in TCI, Travel Corporation of India
Transfer Representative is the most responsible job and backbone for any travel and tourism industry. I worked in TCI, Travel Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi as a Duty Officer and a Transfer Representative for last 1 year and 4 months……….Its really a unique kind of job, Transferring and giving the assistance to clients from Airport (International or Domestic) to hotel or hotel to airport and Railway station to hotel or hotel to Railway station. Transfer Representative represents their company and the country too……….

Many people don’t know about Transfer Representative and those who knows they think that this is a low category of job. People have misconception about Transfer Representatives. They think that it is a very simple job. Usually people hate this job and those who are involved in this job they are treated bad. But, this all are totally wrong.

This is a different kind of job and it’s very hard to do it. Not so simple………. Today I will write about the “Transfer Representative”, its duties, and responsibites.


THE ROLE OF TRANSFER REPRESENTATIVE

(THE IMAGE BUILDER OF THE TOUR COMPANY AND THE NATION)


Introduction:
Tourism is an agglomeration of various sectors of economy such as accommodation, transportation, entertainment, travel trade and ancillary enterprises. It is a phenomenon arising out of the temporary movement of people from their normal place of work and residence to some other interesting destination for varied reasons like rejuvenation, appetitive for sight seeing, relaxation etc. One can never stay away from it. It is abroad of knowledge, which invites each one of us to come and discover the vivid culture and bring the world together. Its uniqueness always attracts people and gives everybody the flamboyant pleasure of true traveling.

Tourism has gained much relevance and is booming all over the world. It plays a major role in the global socio - economic scenario today. Tourism is bread and butter for many countries. The second half of the last century witnessed tremendous development in the tourism sector. Tourism is the only fastest growing industry in the world.

Now tourism industry enjoys one of the top most positions in the all business scenario worldwide. Intl. tourism has increased steadily since end of World War II. In 1950, there were only 25 million tourist arrivals in the world. In 1960, the number of World tourist was more than doubled, reaching 183 million International tourist arrivals by 1970.In 1980 it reaches 287 million and nearly 700 million by 2000 International tourist in the world. According to WTO (World Tourism organization) 760 million people were traveling internationally by the year 2004, generating more than US$ 620 billion in earnings. WTO predict 1.6 billion international tourists by the year 2020, spending more than US$ 2 trillion annually, with the strongest relative growth occurring in the past of the developing world.



From all the above-mentioned points we can say that Travel and Tourism is really booming all over the world. The movements of people are also increasing very rapidly due to: -

1. Globalization.
2. More Leisure Travel Time.
3. Increase of Education Awareness.
4. Publicity.
5. Better, Speedy, Cheap and Safe mode of Transport.
6. More organized form of Tourism.
7. Status Symbol.
8. Publicity Stability.
9. More Population.
10. Revolution in Information Technology.


Due to increase in Travel and Tourism industry many companies is coming up in mushroom form. A company that provides various types of travel services, including travel agencies, tour operators, Cruise lines, and Internet vacation reservation and services. Market is becoming tuff and more competitive. People prefers to those companies, who give better services.

We can see lot a people traveling for many purposes. Therefore, many people switched to travel companies for who offer quality services at an affordable rate. Many travel companies provides different kinds of services to meet the need of their clients. All the services play a pro vital role in all service or travel industry.

In this account Transfer Representative service of job plays a crucial role all over. The Transfer Representative is the most responsible job in the field of travel and tourism industry. Transfer Representative is a person, who gives assistance to the clients or guests while he arrives from particular place to a host place or from a host place to other place. They can be from Travel Agency, Tour Operator, Hospitality or Service Industry.

Meaning:
Transfer normally means to transfer any things or stuffs to a particular pace. In simple you can say transferring. To convey or move or handover (a thing) from one place or person or group etc to another.

Representative means, who represent themselves on behalf of particular company or Nation. Both together are known as Transfer Representative. A person chosen to represent another or other, or to take part on the behalf.

Transfer Representatives are from Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Hotels or any service industries, who are coming to particular place, locations, sites, states or countries for their services and give assistance.

Tourism is upcoming and booming all over the world. For some countries, tourism is bread and butter and also helps to improve the economy of the nation. The movement of people is also increased in recent years and it will increase more. Therefore, the needs of Transfer Representatives are also increasing. It has become the backbone of any travel and tourism industry. No one can neglect Transfer Representatives because they are the first person who coming in front of the guests and represent there place and company too.

The Transfer Representative is a primary level or a root level job in any travel, tourism and hospitality industry. There are lots of things to learn, know and experience. There is a famous saying in Hindu methodology “Niche se suru karoge, Upar tak jaoge” (If you start from the root level you can reach at the top). By this we can say Transfer Representative is the best starting to reach at the top in any travel and tourism industry. Because here you can experience, earn lot of things, which will help you to go ahead and solve the problems. By this we can say Transfer Representative is the best starting to reach at the top in any travel and tourism industry. Because here one experience, learn a lot of things, which will help you to go ahead and solve the problems. No one can cheat them.

Many people think that Transfer Representative is not a good job. Most of the people have wrong thinking and conception about Transfer Representative. They think this is a job just like of a porter or low category of job. People think that they can easily do this job. It’s a very simple job; even a driver can also do it. But the real fact is that every one can do this job but not efficiently like a reputed and trained Transfer Representatives. Any situations comes in front of them they can handle it very easily where as a driver can’t do it.

Many Travel and Tourism Industries come to know about this fact and now they are recruiting a Transfer Representative after a tuff interviews. They have to go through many levels of interviews. Now some travel and tourism industries even recruit a foreign language speaking Transfer Representatives. So, that there client may not face any kind of problems during the time of arrival, hotel checking in and departure. The companies are looking many things under one person before recruiting him as a Transfer Representative like Good personality, smart looking, good communications skill, having good knowledge of everything, if possible tourism background etc. So, from all this facts we can say the crease of Transfer Representative in present travel and tourism world is increasing.

As I have already mentioned Transfer Representative is a very responsible job. If we go inside of it is very vast. Normally Transfer is divided into two parts.
They are

1. Arrival Transfers.

2. Departure Transfers.


1. Arrival Transfer: - A person who usually do a transfer of guest in Individual, Couple and Group at the time of arrival. This is known as Arrival Transfer. Arrival Transfer can be from anywhere like Airport (Domestic or International) or Railway Stations to hotels, lodges, guesthouses, motels etc.

Some instructions for Transfer Representatives who usually involves in Arrival Transfer.
They should ensure the followings: -
• Rep should be neatly dressed.
• Read instruction sheet/file very carefully and follow all the instruction. Also see the duty chart for any instruction before leaving.
• Prepare Placard for Arrival Transfer, if needed.
• Reconfirm accommodation with hotel and also advice hotel about clients expected arrival time; ensure keys are provided immediate on arrival to hotel. Incase clients are VIP (Very Important Person), all VIP courtesies to be provided like welcome Drinks, Aarti Tikka with Garands with the compliments from hotel or from the company.
• In case rooms are to be provided on immediate occupancy, ensure before leaving for transfer that the room is ready, try to take the room number so that at the time of arrival there is no delay or problem.
• Check if transport is A/C (Air Condensing) or NAC (Non Air condensing).
Check condition of the vehicle in order to avoid complaints from clients also check if driver in uniform.


In case of Lost Baggage

To check with client if he has taken the PIR (Passenger Information Record) from the concerned airline, if not, he should go in and take it.
- To check if client has informed the airline as to where he wants the baggage to be delivered.
- Incase he want us to collect the baggage, we have to collect the following:
- Collect Original PIR copy.
- To carry two blank sheets in which signature of the client is to be taken at the bottom left and right corners.
- Keys of the suitcase or the number in case of numerical lock to be taken from the client.
- Copy of the passport also to be taken from the client.
-Also check from the client if any dubitable items are there in his baggage.
-To collect baggage on behalf of the client, carry letter from the (concern) company authorizing you to collect the baggage and all the above documents.
- Contact the concerned Airlines office at the airport then go to the police post, get pass made and then go the warehouse at the arrival hall and collect the baggage after paying the demurrage. Go to the custom counter to get the baggage checked.
- After baggage is checked come out of the hall and give the baggage claim tag, given by the airlines to the custom staff sitting at the gate.
- Sometime it depends upon airlines to airlines. Some airlines deliver the baggage of the client at the hotel mentioned during the time of filling the form.


Meeting Client at the Airport

• At the airport Rep should stand at a prominent place with the company placard or the foreign agent placard as the case may be where client can locate him easily.
• Garlanding should be done by the Rep only in the coach/car as the case may be and not by the driver or the helper.
• Upon arrival greet the client “Welcome to India” or “Welcome to Delhi” as the case may be and give your business card.
• Ask the client to wait at a safe place while you cal for the car and also tell them to look after his/her baggage.
• Check if each member prior to loading in the coach identifies baggage, count number of baggage personally.

Briefing in the Car/Coach from the Airport to the Hotel

• Distance between the airport and the city center and the average traveling time.
• Inform the exact time to adjust their watches.
• Currency used in India and the exact exchange rates. Advise to exchange money in hotel or authorized place and to obtain receipt.

Tipping

• When to tip and how to tip, give practical example:
-Porter- Rs. 10 to 20 approx.
-Local Guides- Rs. 35 to 50 per person per day.
-Restaurant Bills- about Rs. 7 to 8 % of the bill amount.
-Shoe cover charges- Rs 2 to 5 at monuments.
-Car/Coach drivers’ upto the clients as per the services provided.
-Snake charmers- Rs 5 per person.
-Warn against drinking top water.

• Mineral Water, suggest to buy from a genuine place and to check seal on bottle before buying.
• Warn against consuming ice cube, yogurt, ice cream and salad (raw vegetables).
• Wine is expensive in hotels to check price before ordering.
• Emphasize importance for safe guarding owns belongings like- passport, air tickets, money and other valuables specially when in crowded paces. Suggest them to put their valuables in the lockers of their hotel.
• Warn against petty crimes- such as pick pocket, luggage thefts etc. not to carry heavy articles with them while going for sight seeing.
• Warn against restrictions on photography - airports, harbors, railway stations, bridges and military installations.
• Do not forget to collect Foreign Agent Voucher (if any).



Other General Instructions

• Always be courteous and polite while attending to telephone calls. Always wish while answering al call.
• Loose talks and use of abusive language not allowed within the office promises.
• When taking air-ticket umber the first three digit alphabet code also to be noted for reconfirmation.
• Foreign coins should not be accepted wile collecting payment from client.
• Receipt to be made while collecting payment from client.
• Incase client wants to be shifted to a superior room, check with the tour executive. First regarding the payment of difference.
• Placards to be taken only after making entry in the resister and the applicable while returning also.
• Resister in which the instructions are mentioned to be read on a daily basis and initialed after reading the instructions.
• Read the transport department notice board on a daily basis.
• Incas of delay/late running of train Rep should wait at the Railway station.
• Time out, time in and vehicle number to be mentioned in the transfer instruction sheet by the rep going for transfer.
• Always check the transporter/companies duty slip before signing. Also note down the opening and closing kilometer and time. Check the vehicle number. The rep going for transfer must sign all duty slips.
• All instructions in the transfer instructions sheet should be ticked after conveying to the client. Incase where reply is required mention it.
• Acknowledgement for the tickets or any documents delivered to the client must be taken on the acknowledgement slip duly signed by the client.
• Without fail Confidential Report Sheet must be filled and collected from client when mentioned in the transfer instruction sheet.
• Incase of last minute change in hotel/flight ensure that the change is effected in the movement chart for the mext and subsequent duties.
• Under no circumstances the rep without the consent of the concerned Tour Executive should amend a Company voucher. For example a standard rood changed to deluxe room.
• Inform the executive concerned about any change in the clients program or any dissatisfaction the client is facing
• These days clients are carrying Electronic tickets (E-tkts) for which reconfirmation is not required. But you have to collect the departure details and E-tkt number on arrival.
• Never go the clients’ room. Request the client to come to the lobby.
• Do not suggest any local restaurant to a client unless you or sure of food.
• If payment is being collected by American Express credit card then make sure to note down the four-digit code/number, which does not printed while embossing.
• All reps are to report for duty as per reporting time or the shift time, which ever is earlier irrespective of the flight/train.
• Any financial loss to the company because of the rep’s carelessness or mistake will be borne by the concerned rep only.
• Incase of missed transfers, reps would not be eligible for transfer allowance.
• Always be brief while making telephone calls from office.



2. Departure Transfer: - A person who usually assists couples, guests or group at the time of departure by reps is called Departure Transfer. Departure transfer can be from anywhere like hotel, guesthouse, motels, lodges etc. to Airport (Domestic/International) or Railway station.

Some instructions that a rep has to keep in mind during the time of departure transfer.
• Before going to pick up client rep have to check the ETD (Estimated Time Departure) of flight or train.
• Check room numbers of client or meeting point.
• Always reach hotel 15 minutes before pick up time.
• Check their tickets. Incase airport tax is to be paid by the client confirm if they have sufficient cash or else suggest changing money at the hotel.
• Before leaving hotel check if all bills are cleared and key is deposited.
• At airport provide trolley to client to carry baggage. Request clients to look after their baggage while you get the trolley. Get the baggage X-rayed (if required).
• Take the tickets from client and get baggage pass issued and handover baggage tags to the client.
• While checking in check seat and meal preference of the client and advise airline accordingly.
• Advice clients to fill up embarkation card and keep with themselves. Airport tax included n air tickets these days.
• If flight cancelled or client offloaded, help client in getting layover from airlines but in case airlines does not provide same, help client to check in to some hotel and collect charges from client and issue voucher for same and provide departure transfer for the flight they will leave later. All these to be done in consultation with the Tour Executive concerned.

Domestic Departure

• Give the pick up time to the client as per mentioned in the file.
• Clients should not carry any inflammable articles in their baggage.
• Knives, batteries, lighter etc. should not be carried in hand baggage.

Reps should know about meal plans like :

E.P - European Plan or Room only.
C.P - Continental Plan- Room + continental Breakfast (Understand difference between normal and continental breakfast).
M.A.P - Modified American Plan- Room + Breakfast+ Lunch/Dinner.
A.P - American Plan- Room + Breakfast + Lunch + dinner.


Briefing at the Hotel

• On arrival at the hotel client should be requested to be seated in the lobby while you fill in check-in slips. Individual wings/floors to be considered while allotting rooms.
• Hotel facilities- elevator, air condition control knob, safety vault, location of restaurant etc. to be informed.
• If there is any difference between our itinerary and Foreign Agent itinerary, please inform the concerned executive.
• Client to be informed regarding the meal plan, mode of payment-whether direct or through company vouchers. If payment direct, then we inform hotel to collect rack rates and also save our 10% commission. Also advise our account department.
• To collect payment from the client as per foreign agents instruction. If client refuses to pay then inform the Tour Executive immediately till then stop all services. If the client pays then collect total cost along with the passport details and inform the tour executive.
• Also advice the clients about pick up timings for sightseeing and departure transfer as per itinerary/transfer instruction sheet. Check if any language-speaking guide required as per itinerary.
• If client desires to avail some extra services (which are not in their program) the same is to be provided against direct payment.
• Make sure to take receipt of documents delivered specially air tickets/train tickets/vouchers etc. because if the same is misplaced by client then the responsibility goes to the client and not to rep or company.
• While collecting foreign agent voucher check the vouchers, ensure that all services that is being provided is mentioned in the Foreign Agent voucher, incase of any problem contact the tour executive concerned. For example if we are providing room and transportation then the voucher should mention this, also check for the room nights, the number of nights in both the voucher should be the came.
• Collect passport details.
• Obtain departure details or photocopy of return flight ticket for reconfirmation.
• Rep must be courteous but detached and must not exceed his brief.

These all are the main duties of a Transfer Representative and they have to do it anyhow.



Conclusion:
As I have discussed about he Travel, Tourism and its services. There are many services provided by many services industries. Among them Transfer Representative is the most important and most responsible job, but this has been neglected from many times. In India most of the International flights arrives at night, therefore Reps have to wake up whole night incase flights are delayed. So, I have given the more emphases to Transfer Representative. I Endeavour hard to show how important is Transfer Representative for any company.

Transfer Representative is not a cup of tea for everybody. It is really a responsible job. Everybody can’t do it with its passion and dedication. Everybody can hold the placard of a client in a arrival lounge (airport / railway station) but the way a educated and experienced reps does and assist them to hotel, guest house or a any other place others can’t do it. For example: - Drivers can also go to Airport, show the placard and receive the client and take them to the hotel. But if a client faces any kind of problem in between that time a driver can’t do anything. Here a professional Transfer Representative requires.

Educated and experienced person knows how to handle a client. They know what kind of problems they may face and how they can solve it. Now a days we see many language reps are also coming up. Many companies are also realizing the role and importance Transfer Representatives. Therefore they are recruiting good looking, smart, and educated person for this job.


Rinzing Lama (Lecturer)
Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management
New Delhi






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