By far, the most common question we get in the Careers on Vacation Facebook group (you’re in there, right?) and in my Careers On Vacation mastermind is about host travel companies or agencies.
Yes, host travel agencies – those companies whose purpose is to simplify your life as a travel agent by letting you build off of their brand name (sometimes), maintain travel credentials, grant access to travel agent websites, and provide the accounting and processing of commissions and payments 💲 for their agents.
That’s it, in a nutshell.
“Cyndi, I want to run my OWN travel business. Should I even bother with a host travel company?”
I happen to know a thing or two about starting up a travel business. I’ve seen just about every choice – and every mistake – someone can make in starting up as a travel agent, so let me tell you the deal with host companies.
First things first, you don’t have to work with a host travel agency to get your own travel business off the ground. In fact, in the long run, if you want to have your own successful, portable, profitable travel business, you’ll certainly want to separate yourself from any host companies so you can maximize your profit and control over your business.
But if you’re just starting and have never owned or operated a business of your own, you may find that joining with a host travel company can eliminate roadblocks 🚧 and make certain things easier than if you had to do everything yourself.
Maybe you want to “learn the ropes” of the business by working with a host travel agency for a year or two before branching out on your own. This can be a great idea, as long as you pick the right host company.
“How exactly do I know the right host travel company when I see it?
It’s not as easy as choosing a name out of a hat. It’s going to take some research on your part. You’re going to need to ask the right questions!
Before you make a decision, you should absolutely ask any prospective host companies you are considering questions like:
- What commission split do they offer?
- Do they supply help desk support?
- What affiliations do they belong to?
- Do they have any training events or conventions?
- Do I have the autonomy to use my own company name and logo?
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many things to try to be sure of before you commit to any host. In fact, I have created an extensive questionnaire that you can… well, I’ll tell you about that in a minute.
“Cyndi, should I look into MLM firms?”
No no no.
If you’re looking to link up with a host company, make sure to avoid Multi-level Marketing (MLM) firms. Believe me, they are not in it to help you build your career or provide great travel service. They are designed entirely to funnel money up to the very top of their food chains by incentivizing only the recruitment of new members.
Their pitches can be enticing, but trust me. Don’t do it.
You want to succeed – I want to see you succeed – in the travel industry, and MLMs are basically the worst approach you can take toward that goal.
“There’s more to picking a host travel agency than I thought. Cyndi, help!”
If you’re looking to start up your travel business and you think you want to go with a host travel company, arming yourself with information is the best way to start. I’ve put together a guide called “Selecting a Reputable Host” that will put you in a position to make a good, informed decision about host travel companies.
Here’s some of what you’ll find inside the guide:
- What you should know about entering a hosting relationship
- How to spot and avoid travel MLMs (multi-level marketing companies)
- Host Screening Questionnaire
- A quick list of the top ten hosts currently in the industry
Download the guide with the link below – it’s free! – and keep it handy as you make one of the most important decisions you can make when starting your travel business.
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