Your clients, both new and returning, will rely on the recommendations you give them when planning their soon-to-be cherished experiences. Agent-supplier relationships are beneficial to everyone. Perhaps the top benefit of being a travel agent is that you'll earn discounts for your own hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and tours, allowing you to explore new places and experience new cultures as part of your job. The freedom of being your own boss may have drawn you to learn how to become an independent travel agent. Become the one creating detailed itineraries. Plus, the more clients you send, the more both you and the supplier financially benefit. As an independent travel agent, it is up to you to understand what type of vacation packages you are offering so you can advise based on true experience. This relationship requires a large amount of trust, understanding, and openness. Does the company offer agent support, including accounting, technical, marketing, and commission tracking? That’s why when you’re starting out as an independent travel agent, your goals should align with the agency you choose. Bonnie has been a travel industry professional for over 25 years, teaching classes and writing for other travel agents. It is your responsibility to build relationships with suppliers around the world so that you can offer their services. As a contracted worker you have complete control over when, where, and how you conduct business. Independence does not mean that you are alone. )Once those agents have begun booking business, built a book of clients, and networked with their preferred … You are the expert, and you must convey your expertise through confidence in what you are selling. One of the common misconceptions about this career choice is that you will have no support. As a contractor, you do not receive traditional employee benefits. Ninety-one percent of independent travel agents say they split commissions with a host agency, according to the ASTA and NACTA. If you'd like to view the site without cookies or want to know more, read our, The Truth About Becoming an Independent Travel Agent. Here are a few more benefits that you can take advantage of: Among the tangible benefits, becoming an independent travel agent is also a fulfilling career choice. Learn to anticipate people’s needs. Be forewarned, though the benefits heavily tip the scale in one direction, there are challenges to becoming an independent travel agent just like any other profession. In fact, 75 percent of independent travel agents specialize in cruises and earn an average of 14 percent commission from their sales. If you're thinking of becoming an independent agent yourself, then consider which niche appeals to you. It’s scary taking the first leap into the depth of self-employment without any clue on where to go from there. Suppliers and independent agents work together to compile the perfect trip for each client. On your part, it is also about listening and reading people to provide them with experiences they will love. Whether you served in a restaurant or worked in a retail store, those customer service experiences will all work toward your success. Host agencies are a key partner to help you become a successful independent travel agent. As an agent, you are a trusted resource from which clients learn about travel and travel services. If you want to be an independent contractor, it likely means you’re working as part of a larger host agency, which is smart to do when you’re starting out as a travel agent. Of course, a love of travel is a necessary passion to become an independent travel agent, but it will not be your defining feature. Home-based agents (who typically have at least a decade of experience) are often eligible for some travel expense and home tax deductions, too. Remember the FAM trips you took advantage of? HOTEL SAVINGS UP … Beginning with prior sales experience and an entrepreneurial spirit will get you far. So how do you turn this dream into a reality? Global Travel has made it even easier and more fulfilling to sell travel, make money, and travel better as an Independent Travel Agent with additional benefits and products available to Agents only. We’ll start with one of the most important questions: If you break down the job title word-for-word, you can easily get a sense of what your role as an independent travel agent will be. In your quest to become an independent travel agent, finding the right host agency is like finding the North Star. Relationships with your clients, suppliers, and most importantly your host agency, are all essential components of your success. What is the agent/agency relationship like. Independence does not mean that you are alone. Which global distribution system (GDS) does the host agency use? become a successful independent travel agent. When first breaking into the travel selling business, the majority of new agents learn the ropes as a "hosted" agent of a host agency. THOUSANDS OF EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL DEALS. It is something everyone craves in their career, but few are able to experience completely while working as an employee. Which office equipment is required by the host agency. Host agencies split commissions with agents, but some also charge monthly fees or other agent charges. You will be working off of commission after all. - There’s commission built into every single thing you book, so it doesn’t cost you any extra to book through me. When Travel Quest Network began hosting agents in 1998, they made sure that working closely with their agents to reach a common goal was the focus of their business. Fostering these relationships are what will secure your business. You will have first-hand knowledge to pass down to each client so that together, you can plan the best experience possible. Does the agency give agents referrals to potential clients? However, because travel is an intimate and expensive endeavor, your purpose will not be to get your clients to book as quickly as possible. A member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), The Travel Institute (formally ICTA), the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN), the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA), and the Independent Travel Professionals Network (ITPN).Certified Travel Consultants (CTC) awarded by The Travel Institute How often does the host agency pay the agents? Does the agency belong to ASTA, NACTA, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), or International Air Transport Association (IATA)? Who keeps track of sales and commissions? This is the first year we’ve had enough data to parse out independent agent income. It’s a challenge trying to sift through all the advice out there to find clear instructions on how to become an independent travel agent. What training programs are offered by the host agency? Becoming an independent travel agent can be a profitable undertaking if you do your homework. They vary greatly in their size, benefits, and dedication to their agents. That being said, it takes more than giving yourself the title to succeed. Travel Quest Network offers training, technology resources, marketing, and flexible pricing plans that range from 70-100% commission in the agent’s pocket. While it is helpful to be well-traveled, it is more important that your travel knowledge is driven by your passion for it. What Is a Consortium in the Travel Industry? All rights reserved. The first step in becoming a successful independent travel agent is to attend travel school to learn about the travel and tourism industry. This experience will help build your rapport with future clients. In 2019, full-time independent agents earned an average annual income of $59,976. What type of invoicing and record keeping is the agent required to do? Whether you work from home or decide to rent a private office space, it is completely up to you. However, the more experience an agent has, the more confident consumers are in relying on the agent for travel advice. These traits are basically a mirror image of the benefits you’d have in a career as an independent travel agent. The perks of being your own boss are quick to entice, but before you start ordering your business cards, it’s important to understand the basics. Unlike many careers in the 21st century, you won't need to commit four years to getting a degree, either, because the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) provide training resources online. A successful agent needs to develop knowledge and experience about some aspect of travel.
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