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How to Start a Successful Independent Travel Agency
Independent travel agents act as any other travel agency does, procuring tickets and vouchers for clients who plan to travel for business or pleasure. However, today’s independent travel agents have the benefit of greater flexibility than ever before with the advent of mobile technology that allows them to work on the go from anywhere they happen to find themselves in their own travels.
If you love travel and you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to use your knowledge and skills to help others enjoy traveling as well, these are some terrific ideas on how to become a travel agent:
Connect with a Host Agency
One of the best tips is to connect with a host travel agency to begin a career as an independent travel agent. Host agencies provide valuable information and training programs that are critical for becoming a mobile travel agent and getting an agency started.
Host agencies provide independent travel agents with many of the travel agency marketing tools they need to get started in the business, including easy-to-use customer management platforms as well as booking tools and innovative travel agency software (including robust travel agency back office software technology) that can help the new agent grow their business quickly. In addition, they offer training and support from experts in the field, which can be invaluable to a new agent just starting out.
Make Sure You Get the Necessary Training
In some states, mobile travel agents must complete accredited training in order to work independently as an agent. Courses may be offered at local community colleges or through online sources, and they include information on computerized reservation centers, laws regarding travel sales and information on booking vacation packages.
Develop a Niche Market
People who travel today are looking for individualized customer service and often they prefer niche vacations that are different from the traditional travel destinations most people seek. Independent, mobile travel agents that specialize in specific types of travel or destinations set themselves apart from other agents, and especially from the online, do-it-yourself, one-size-fits-all travel websites. Types of niche markets include snorkeling or scuba vacations, golf trips, all-inclusive Caribbean resorts and many other specific activity trips.
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Become the Expert
In addition to creating a niche travel agency, independent travel agents need to become experts on the areas where they are sending clients. If a client is traveling to Belize, the agent should know all there is to know about the culture, the events occurring during the client’s travel and unusual activities available to make the vacation more unique. An independent agent often offers to book tours and excursions prior to the client’s arrival so their vacation is worry-free and relaxed, with no concerns other than getting to the activity on time.
Give Your Customers the Service You Want for Yourself
One of the most important things to remember as a mobile travel agent is that good customer service will grow your business faster than anything else. Being available for your clients and being on top of the great deals is a must.
Getting to know your clients and the types of travel that interests them most will allow you to match them with travel deals when they become available. This is a win-win for both agent and traveler!
Your best bet to a great start in the travel industry is to find the right hosting agency that can provide invaluable information and the right tools to help you develop a successful career in the travel industry. Find out how you can connect with a top hosting agency.