Becoming part of a host travel agency is a great way for independent agents to gain the network of support that they need to find success in an extremely competitive industry. This is especially true for new agents that might be making a mid-level career change, or those who have just completed a degree and need to get their foot in the door with an entry level position.
One of the first steps to take to choose the right host travel agency would be to verify the agency’s credentials and background. They should be certified by a professional hosting organization, or be active ASTA members. The exact credential can vary in between agencies, but there should be some sign that they are a valid, professional organization.
Another tip to keep in mind when comparing each host travel agency to find the right one is to look at their business track record. Ideally, they will already work with a number of top travel agents, who should be willing to give testimonials or positive reviews to new agents that might want to sign on board. One of the benefits of working with a host agency is having access to other professionals for advice and support.
Most of the host travel agencies will be located in more of a virtual network than any sort of physical location. Therefore, that’s not really a factor to think about, but if you do want to have some local support you could ask if the host travel agency offers local outreach programs or any community based meet-ups.
Narrowing down the best host travel agency options will also involve investigating how the pay scheme works. This includes what percentage the agency might take in exchange for helping you find new clients and providing valuable support and resources. The cut that they take from their agents will vary widely depending on how the agency is run, how large it is, and what types of fees that the agents are charging clients.
Taking the time to research the host travel agency and its current members before signing up can make a world of difference in how your career progresses. Clients want to work with agents that are going to be able to garner them special deals and have insider knowledge, which should be part of what is provided to travel agents that are part of larger umbrella or host agencies.
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