What Does a Host Agency Do?
Written by: Stephanie on October 12, 2023
Host agencies are often misunderstood. They aren’t travel agencies and they aren’t travel suppliers. Another common misconception is that host agencies are only designed for those with no experience in the travel industry, or those who don’t feel confident about running their own business.
The truth is that a well-rounded, forward-thinking host agency fills many roles. It is versatile enough to allow both new and experienced agents to thrive.
So… what exactly does a host agency do for its agents? Watch the video below or keep reading to learn more.
One of the most important things a host agency provides is a solid foundation of travel knowledge and practical training. This includes industry-specific information like which suppliers to use for which destinations, and general business knowledge, like how to develop a marketing strategy. The best host agencies are continuously offering new educational and professional development opportunities. These opportunities keep agents up-to-date on all the latest travel trends, supplier products, and business practices.
Allows for Low Start-Up Costs
In order for airlines, tour operators, and other travel suppliers to consider your travel agency legitimate, it must meet several standards. It can take years, and thousands of dollars in business to obtain CLIA and IATA credentials, the most widely accepted marks of an authorized seller of travel. Agents that partner with host agencies have access to their established credentials right off the bat. Some also offer Errors & Omissions insurance policy, which allows agents to book travel with confidence.
Provides Access to Suppliers & Networking Opportunities
Host agencies have established relationships with the BDMs (Business Development Managers) of their Preferred Suppliers. These connections are invaluable for agents when dealing with booking issues, or even to help with situations when a client is traveling. At KHM Travel Group, agents can network with supplier representatives at our in-person events, Seminars at Sea, and FAM trips!
Acts as a Bookkeeper
A host agency should allow you to track the commission you’ve earned and run reports. KHM Travel Group Agents each receive myTravelCRM. myTravelCRM is a platform that allows for marketing and bookkeeping in one location. At the end of the year, your host agency will send you a 1099-NEC with all your earnings. More advanced host agencies will offer tips for keeping track of your finances and taxes as an independent contractor.
Supplies Marketing & Technology Tools
A struggle many new agents face is figuring out how to promote their travel business. Host agencies know this, and use their resources to educate agents on the best ways to attract clients. With KHM Travel Group, agents receive their own private label website to launch their web presence, plus marketing templates and graphics. Ongoing training and tips from the marketing team will make the process even easier.
Offers Higher Commission Rates
Host travel agencies have the buying power of an entire collection of agents. This gives them more weight with suppliers, which translates into higher commission rates for travel agents. Plus, suppliers work with host agencies to provide exclusive sales incentives and prizes just for travel agents. And sometimes those are just for the agents affiliated with a specific host agency.
Provides Personal Support
With the right host agency, a travel agent will never feel alone in trying to grow their business. Reaching a real person on the phone or via email is an invaluable benefit of working with a host agency. A host agency’s support team should be available to answer your questions, whether you’ve been an agent for just a few hours or for many years!
Ready to get started? Find out why over 5,000 travel agents have chosen KHM Travel Group. Contact our team to learn more!