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Independent travel agents earn a living by charging commissions on the flights, hotels, cruises and tours that they book for their clients and customers. It should come as no surprise to learn that some of the most financially successful travel agents deal extensively with group bookings.
Groups that book together will still allow the travel agent to make an impressive commission, but it takes the agent significantly less work to book 20 people for a single vacation package than to research varying packages for each of the 20 people. Find out some of the best tips for planning group vacations, how to market your services and how a host agency may be able to help you expand your independent travel business.
Market Yourself as a Group Travel Expert to the Right Demographic
Independent travel agents are often most successful when they have a niche area of travel to focus on. This could be Disney cruises, family vacation packages or international luxury travel, but it should be something that truly does interest the travel agent. Once your niche is established, think about what groups could benefit most from your services.
If you are well-versed in affordable train travel through Europe, then advertising to college tour groups on social media might be ideal. If you prefer to deal with domestic business travel, then consider calling a few large corporations in your area to find out if they require the help of a travel agent for employee flights and accommodations. Finding your niche, and targeting the right groups, can help you improve your presence and your profits.
Let Travelers Know the Perks of Traveling in a Group
Many travelers and potential clients don’t realize how much group travel can benefit them as well as the agent. Reduced rates are common when traveling in groups and those discounts can add up quickly for travelers on a budget.
Be sure to inform current and potential travelers that groups can opt to stay together in a hotel, sit next to one another on flights, combine ground transport for lower rates and even get together for activities like private tours of new destinations. Inform businesses that using a single booking agent for employees can also keep costs down, which is a big concern for most corporations.
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Liaise With a Single Traveler Whenever Possible
Trying to understand the vacation requests of a dozen different people can feel overwhelming, and you may end up not meeting their needs properly. Instead, try to liaise with a single representative of the group when it comes to the right destination types, flight times and budget requirements. This ensures that you please the group as a whole and are able to serve them again in the future.
How a Host Agency Can Help With Group Travel
If problems arise mid-trip, the best agents will be able to communicate directly with the right contacts at airlines, hotels and vacation businesses. While it might seem impossible to have these resources at your disposal as an independent travel agent, working with a host agency like Travel Planners International puts the information you need right at your fingertips.
- One-on-one Training
- Step by step assistance for first time group booking agent
- Holding group space under TPI Group Advantage
- Assist with creating an invoice for Submit a Sale
- Creating flyers and other promotional material
- Assist with completing Group Finalization Form
- Manage Interactive Group Space List
Group travel can be a smart way to become a more successful travel agent. Click here for more on the perks of becoming an independent travel agent.