A travel agent is a professional who helps individuals or groups make travel arrangements, e.g., book tickets, make hotel reservations, organize tours, etc. The term isn’t to be confused with the online travel agent (OTA), which is a web-based platform that allows travelers to book travel services from multiple providers via the Internet.
Travel agents act as intermediaries between travelers and service providers (airlines, hotels, tour operators, car rental companies, etc.). Depending on the operational model, they can charge travelers a consultation fee for helping arrange their trip and/or charge providers for selling their products.
In addition, due to having in-depth knowledge about multiple destinations and the travel industry in general, travel agents provide recommendations, help create itineraries, and assist with other travel-related issues like purchasing insurance, obtaining visas, etc.