In general, the main sources of income for leisure travel agencies come from commissions paid for vacation packages, cruises, flights and other add-ons. However, consultation fees and service fees are becoming increasingly common as agencies look to diversify their revenue streams and become less reliant on vendor fees. Not to mention, it's hard to put a price on the joy of visiting beautiful places, exploring the newest properties and the freedom and flexibility that comes with having your own travel agency from home. When you want an itinerary tailored just for you, travel agents call it an F-I-T trip - or in other words, a personalized itinerary.
For those passionate about travel, being a travel agent allows them to work and enjoy traveling at the same time. The business models of travel agencies (both corporate and leisure) are becoming less dependent on commissions. Katelyn O'Shaughnessy was a luxury travel agent before founding the travel agency platform TripScope and later the medical tourism company Doctours. In particular, hosted advisors and the host agencies that support them have become the main way to attract new talent to the travel agency distribution channel.
Nowadays, travelers have more access to information than ever before, so most of them are very knowledgeable and plan trips themselves. That's why it's important to understand the pros and cons of being a travel agent before making any professional decisions. To get a better understanding of what it's like to be a travel agent, we spoke to former travel agent Katelyn O'Shaughnessy and current agent Erina Pindar. Additionally, advisors often have access to excellent travel experiences that they otherwise wouldn't be able to enjoy thanks to familiarization trips or discounts for advisors who meet certain sales thresholds or requirements.
Unlike many other careers, becoming a travel agent doesn't require expensive specialized training. Employee compensation models play an important role when it comes to how much money a travel agency employee earns. We'll explore all the pros and cons of being a travel agent to help you make an informed decision about your next move. Additionally, according to Pindar, you'll have to pay your own travel rates like everyone else.
Travel agencies can earn commissions on domestic flights (usually 0-5%) and international flights (approximately 10-22%) depending on the airline contracts they have access to. Airline tickets are the lifeblood of corporate agencies (also known as TMCs or travel management companies).