Host agencies are often thought of as stepping stones to the lucrativeness of the travel industry. That is, once an independent travel agent has gained enough clientele, savings, credibility, and experience, they can easily leave the agency and move on to pursue greater success, working on their own without the governing support of the agency. However, such judgment is usually quite inaccurate. Host travel agencies are a must to almost all travel professionals, regardless of the amount of experience, years in the business, or size of loyal clientele that they have acquired.
Entering the travel industry through a host agency requires very few fixed costs, and those few that are absolutely mandatory (e.g. a host agency registration fee) are usually made up for in the first month of sales. Home based travel agents do not need to take out loans to pay for office rent and equipment, nor invest time and funds into setting up agreements with large vacation booking companies (which does not always guarantee a sealed contract). The only supplies agents need are their computers and desires to sell travel.
Faster way to profits
Without an array of operational costs, independent travel professionals are able to achieve a positive net income sooner. Working through a host travel agency, they spend less time paying off their startup debts and more time earning from their services. This allows travel agents to save enough money and have enough free time to delve into other parts of their business. For example, they could invest early on in identifying a new advertising strategy for their business or establishing a uniform way of staying in touch with existing customers. Essentially, the sooner travel agents start earning a positive income, the sooner they begin to better their business, rather than struggle to keep it alive.
Guidance with no command
Working as an independent travel agent through a host travel agency results in a very specific and interesting working culture. Independent travel agents do not work under the leadership of a boss, but rather under that of a mentor. Agents reserve the power to choose their own schedule, client base, and specialization. The host travel agency provides them with just two tools: physical resources (e.g. access to booking platforms,accesses to contracts with top commissions, FAM trips, etc.), exclusive support and advice. The responsibility of the travel agency lies in supplying, while the role of the travel agents lies in utilizing. The agents choose when and how to book a client’s vacation, which suggestions to give to the client, and whether they want the input of the host travel agency in the process.
Room for personal growth
Aside from clearing up room for business development, having the backbone of a host travel agency also unloads the burden of responsibilities that often comes in conflict with personal and professional development. People often avoid getting their master’s degree, for example, due to the inconvenience it brings to their schedule and their paycheck. However, because working through a host travel agency allows for a malleable schedule and as well as lower business costs, independent travel agents are able to dedicate more time and money to that personal and professional growth. Agents could, for instance, commit to a three-week vacation around South America, learning about the various cultures and gaining insight that would be helpful to later selling the destination to clients.