How to Choose a Host Travel Agency
Written by: Melissa on June 24, 2022
Partnering with the right host travel agency will help you and your business to be successful. If you are a new travel agent, getting started on your own can be daunting. Experienced travel agents are often concerned about how the change will affect their day-to-day processes, supplier relationships, and commission levels. How do you know which host travel agency is the best?
First of all, remember that the term “best” is subjective. What works well for one agent may not be the right fit for another. Think about the goals you have for your travel business, your own strengths and weaknesses, and which tools you will need to get started—or to keep growing. As you compare host travel agency options, research the answers to these important questions:
What am I getting for my money?
All host travel agencies will require some type of payment, whether in the form of membership fees, a commission split, or both. Understand the fees and percentages involved, but also consider what is included with each membership package so you’re not comparing apples to oranges. A basic plan may only include the ability to make travel reservations at the minimum commission percentage, while other programs include valuable benefits like a client management system, higher commission levels, and access to marketing tools.
Where is the agency located?
Using a local host agency potentially offers some geographic advantages, but many national-level agencies provide excellent support to agents across the country. Near or far, it’s important to be able to easily contact your host agency whenever you have questions or concerns. Do they offer multiple methods of communication—phone, email, live chat? Which days and hours do they offer support? If the agency’s main office isn’t located near you, do they offer local events or a regional representative in your area?
What type of travel will I sell?
If you plan to specialize in a particular type of travel—such as cruises, Disney vacations, or destination weddings—you will want a host agency that provides the tools you need for that type of business. Ask what their current commission levels are for the main suppliers in that specialty. Do they offer industry connections to help you serve that niche?
How much education is available?
For a new travel agent, understanding the basics of booking travel and how to set up your business will get you off to a great start. But travel advisors never stop learning, so a good educational program will continue to offer professional development opportunities throughout the agent journey. Even the most experienced travel agents need to stay current on booking technology, marketing trends, and product updates. Does the host agency offer educational opportunities that meet your needs, both now and in the future?
What do other agents think?
Feedback from other travel agents can help you to compare host agencies, and most are happy to share their personal experience with a particular company. Ask the host travel agency to provide references from current members. The website Host Agency Reviews offers access to agent reviews and advice on how to compare agencies to find the best fit for you.
Ready to get started? We invite you to find out why over 4,000 travel agents have chosen to partner with KHM Travel Group as their host travel agency. Give our Membership Team a call at 888.611.1220 to learn how our comprehensive education program, marketing resources, and support staff can help you build a successful travel business.