Travel Officer

World Health Organization

Istanbul, Turkey

Experience: 0 to 3 Years

Skill Required: HR and Admin

The objective of the Division of Business Operations (BOS) is to support the work of WHO in the European Region through delivery of services within the areas of human resources, finance, contracting and procurement, legal advice, information & communications technology, printing, security, facilities management, fixed assets, conference support, travel and transport, safeguarding personnel and staff wellness and well-being. As an enabling function, the division enhances the productivity of the health technical programmes and country offices while at the same time overseeing accountability, transparency and compliance with WHO administrative rules and regulations. The BOS division strives to strengthen the capacity of WHO/Europe to react in an agile way to external and internal changes. The division projects are designed to increase productivity, ensure financial sustainability of the region’s structures, reinforce a client-oriented culture, strengthen country office capacities, and drive strategic initiatives to enhance staff motivation and well-being.

The purpose of the Administrative Services and Conferences (ASC) unit is to deliver efficient, cost effective and responsive logistical and administrative support through a service-oriented approach for the day-to-day operations and staff of the EURO offices and related entities. 

Summary of Assigned Duties:

As part of the Administrative Services & Conferences Unit (ASC), the purpose of the position is to ensure the provision of efficient travel services and effective support to WHO/EURO. Under the direct supervision of Regional Admin Services Manager, the incumbent will: 

  • Regularly monitor and evaluate all travel activities to ensure that WHO Regional Office for Europe (EURO) and its travelers receive efficient services with best value for money; monitor service level and ensure travel agent remains client-oriented while fulfilling the terms of its contract; ensure that tickets are issued in a timely fashion, adhering to correct cost liability and relevant EURO approvals; verify the processing of invoices for payment against the terms of contract and actual services rendered, review and ensure that no costs are duplicated or over charged; follow up with divisions/offices in case of funding issues; ensure that outstanding encumbrances are closed in a timely manner and ticket refunds are requested promptly and credited to WHO without undue delay;
  • Liaise with airlines and/or travel management services provider(s) to negotiate group discounts etc; negotiate best rates with hotels in Istanbul on yearly basis to be applied during meetings/events and for WHO staff and visitors; provide guidance to COs/GDOs on the process and criteria to apply the same; collaborate with HQ on collecting data, reviewing entry to the WHO Preferred hotel programme, ensuring EURO negotiated hotel rates are incorporated;
  • Identify priorities and schedule work of the Travel team in administration of official travels, create travel profiles for staff members, provide travel quotes, answer queries from staff and travelers, analyse complex itineraries and quotations for most advantageous rates, advise on most effective travel arrangements, provide resolutions for complex situations and/or emergencies. Ensure compliance with WHO policies and procedures, review requests for exceptions, provide input to supervisor or BOS when required;
  • Ensure that travel services to EURO governing body meetings and high-level conferences consistently meet the high standards required; advise staff on organizing travel for meetings; assist in determining costing for meetings;
  • As travel claim administrator, approve non-staff travel claims, submit TCs for staff who do not have access;
  • Prepare and manage the issuance of Request for Proposals (RFP) for required travel services; participate in preparing requirements for, as well as the selection, contract administration and performance evaluation of services provider(s), to ensure efficiency in meeting EURO needs;
  • Plan and conduct travel related trainings to EURO staff, ensuring any updates or modifications in policies and/or systems are communicated in a clear and timely manner;
  • Participate in developing and maintaining all travel related processes, systems, standard operations procedures and guidelines, ensure all travel information are up-to-date on relevant Intranet sections, identify gaps or problem areas for review and revision of policies or guidelines, and recommend new ideas to enhance the responsiveness of travel services;
  • Process visa support requests; contact/respond to consulates or immigration authorities to facilitate visa arrangements and ensure timely delivery of visas; answer visa related queries from staff;
  • Draft reports, correspondence and documents on travel-related issues; prepare periodic and ad-hoc management reports; and
  • Perform other tasks as required by the supervisor.

Functional Knowledge and Skills:

  • In-depth knowledge of the travel industry and the application of air fare levels.
  • Excellent negotiation skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Demonstrated ability to act independently and exercise sound judgment.
  • Ability to work harmoniously as a manager as well as a member of a team in an international, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment.
  • Good interpersonal skills, tact and diplomacy. Ability for analytical and creative thinking to provide rapid solutions and/or re-allocate resources in response to unexpected events. Service-oriented.
  • Good knowledge of airline (preferably Amadeus) booking systems. Proficiency in MS Office.  Good knowledge in use of an ERP system.
  • Emotional intelligence; Ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as helping others to do the same.

Educational Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, travel industry management/hospitality or an area of study relevant to the position.



  • A minimum of two years of relevant experience in the travel industry, i.e. in travel agencies and/or airlines. Demonstrated hands-on experience making travel arrangements and calculating fares.

Language skills:

  • Fluency in English required. Fluency in Turkish required.