Why 2019 is the Year to Become a Travel Agent
Written by: Sydney Crago on January 11, 2019
As a host travel agency dedicated to helping others build their own travel businesses, it may seem bias or clichéd for us to claim that 2019 is the year to become a travel agent. However, it is hard to argue with thorough research, and with our understanding of our travel agents’ growth. According to the independent research firm Phocuswright, U.S. travel agency sales are slated to grow 13 percent between 2017 and 2021.
If you need more convincing, the following trends all point to a rise in popularity and demand for independent travel agents.
The cruise industry is strong.
Chances are you’ve seen a commercial or an online ad about setting sail on a cruise. The cruise industry is strong and continuing to see growth year after year. According to CLIA, Cruise Lines International Association, over 28 million passengers sailed on a cruise in 2018. That number is expected to rise to more than 30 million in 2019!
What’s even more shocking about that number? Over 70 percent of cruise passengers book their trip with a travel agent. With the expected launch of 18 new ocean cruise ships in 2019, the cruise industry will continue to draw new travelers for years to come!
Niche travel is on the rise.
Cruising isn’t the only section of the travel industry that is on the rise. Solo travel’s popularity is increasing as more travelers seek to fulfill their bucket lists at their own pace. Solo travelers trust travel agents to send them on an expertly planned vacation, and advocate for them should any issues arise during their trip.
Wellness travel offers clients a chance to disconnect and embark on true relaxation. According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness travel is growing at double the rate of the overall tourism industry. Many destinations and resorts are quickly adapting to meet this growing demand. These travelers often call upon agents for their expertise and value the stress-free process of planning a vacation through a travel agent.
Social media is empowering small businesses.
According to a recent report, 77 percent of travel agents use social media to position themselves as travel experts and 74 percent use it to market to their existing clients. The same report noted that eight out of ten agents who use Facebook to market their travel business receive at least one booking a month through the platform.
Today’s social media networks are key for small businesses to connect with members of their community and stay in touch with clients. Agents that invest time in building a following on Facebook and Instagram are able to share the value of their services and promote their business for no or very little cost.
You are in control.
Launching your home-based travel career provides you with the chance to take control. As an independent contractor, you can set your own schedule. You can work the number of hours you want. You take on the clients you want. In fact, when surveyed, people that work from home said that the number one benefit was a better work/life balance.
For many of our agents, the flexibility to run their travel business is priceless. That’s one of the many reasons over 70% of travel agents work from home. They are still able to attend family events, meet up with friends, and take care of errands, and still run a business! Being a travel agent means dedicating time to learning travel suppliers, completing educational courses, and marketing your business, but the satisfaction of working for yourself is a rewarding feeling.
If you’re looking for a new career path in 2019, and you have a passion for travel, learn more about partnering with KHM Travel Group as your host agency. To find out more, you can fill out the form to the right or give our memberships team a call at 1-888-611-1220.