Being a new travel agent, I’ve been getting A LOT of questions on how my business works. Rightfully so, as even I was unsure on how the travel agency business worked before I started! Most people (including me) probably assumed travel agents are a dying breed since anyone can book their own travel nowadays. So why would you need a travel agent? I wanted to address some of the major questions in order to help everyone understand how my agency operates.
What is a travel agent?
Simply put, a travel agent is someone who books travel on behalf of their clients. They deal directly with travel suppliers to coordinate anything from airfare to hotels to transportation and tours.
What is a host agency?
A host agency is a travel agency that hosts travel agents as independent contractors. I am an independent contractor operating under the umbrella of my host agency, Montrose Travel, a top 50 Travel Management Company nationwide. They are accredited, licensed, bonded, and have all the necessary memberships and affiliations to sell different types of travel. As one of their independent contractors, I have access to all of their supplier contracts and special rates. They also provide support and training for me so I can make my business more efficient and successful.
Do people still use travel agents?
With the emergence of online booking tools, I believed travel agents were almost non-existent. If you could book everything yourself, I didn’t think there was still a need for travel agents. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Due to the saturation of travel information available online, people became more overwhelmed since they didn’t know where to begin their travel planning process. They didn’t have the time to compare site after site after site. They needed someone who could guide them in the right direction. The travel industry has definitely shifted from what it was 30 years ago, but travel agents aren’t going away any time soon.
Does it cost more to use a travel agent?
Contrary to popular belief, it actually doesn’t cost more to use a travel agent. Travel agents get paid a commission that is built into the price from the supplier directly. A hotel room will cost you the same whether you book it through a travel agent or through a site like Expedia or Orbitz. The hotel then pays commission to the booking agent directly. You should be paying the same (maybe even less) with a travel agent as you would booking through a major booking engine.
Why should I book with a travel agent?
Travel planning can be overwhelming due to the insane amount of information and deals available. Having a travel agent can help you sort out the best places to look. Booking with me can save you time because I’m doing the major legwork for you. I’m the one spending the time to research your trip and giving you the best options. But the number one reason to book with me is because I truly can save you money. I have a vast amount of resources available to help find you a better rate than advertised anywhere else. Not to mention, I’m paid directly by the supplier, so you don’t have to worry about any extra fees. Still not convinced? Let me quote your next trip to see if I can convince you then 😉
I understand that a travel agent isn’t for everyone, which is why I’m so excited that I have my own booking website for you to book on yourself. What’s cool about my site is that there are the special Montrose Travel supplier rates built right into the search function. You have access to rates through my site that are only available to agents! Any rate listed with a blue or white M logo are negotiated supplier rates. You can book on my site here. As always, I’m available if you have any questions!