Home Based Travel Agent
Part Three

In Home Based Travel Agent Part Three we will delineate a Home Based Travel Agent as well as describe different approaches to it...

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What is a Home Based Travel Agent?

Broadly speaking, a home based travel agent is anyone engaged in the marketing and selling of travel products from a home office.
That can cover a wide variety of different types of home based travel agents.

However, in the travel industry and more specifically in the travel distribution industry, the term "home based travel agent" is most often used to refer to someone who . . .

The home based travel agent finds, qualifies, and books the customer; the host agency prints the tickets (if any) and serves as the conduit between the home-based agent and the travel supplier whose product the home-based agent is selling.
The home based travel agent and the host agency share the commissions paid by travel suppliers according to a negotiated percentage split that reflects (or should reflect) the amount of work and effort expended by each party in making the booking happen.

By definition (as well as by contract), the home based travel agent is an independent contractor, which means that he or she has a great degree of freedom as far as determining how and with whom to do business.
That means that some home based travel agents function simply as referral agents, funneling business to a travel agency but not handling any of the booking details themselves.

Some home based travel agents bypass host agencies altogether.
One way to do this is to become a "cruise-only" agency.
Another way to do this is to specialize in condominium vacations, a niche that has been undeserved by traditional travel agencies and which is more than happy to deal directly with home based travel agents.
Other home based travel agents simply market a limited number of travel products and form direct relationships with individual travel suppliers whose products they represent.

Some home based travel agents specialize in forms of travel that have developed distribution channels outside the traditional storefront travel agency distribution channel.
For example, some people are very content to market educational tours that not only offer extremely attractive pricing but allow the tour organizer (the home based travel agent) to travel free and earn a stipend (a sort of commission) as well.
Organizers of student travel, many of whom are full-time students, are another example of this approach.

Home based travel agents, of whatever description or level of sophistication, can work either full-time or part-time or only occasionally.
That's because the very nature of being an independent contractor is that no one can tell you when to work, how to work, or how hard to work.
There are home-based travel agents who earn pin money, home-based travel agents who earn a tidy part-time income, home-based travel agents who bring down a substantial middle-class income, and home- based travel agents who earn six-figure incomes.

As you can see, there are so many variations and combinations that it is difficult to define the "typical" home-based travel agent.
This means that virtually anyone can be a home based travel agent, on their own terms and at their own pace, creating the type of home based travel marketing business that makes sense for them.

But is being a home based travel agent for you? WeŽll consider that question in the next lesson...

This mini-course on becoming a home based travel agent is brought to you by the Home Based Travel Agent Resource Center and The Intrepid Traveler, publisher of a comprehensive home study course for home based travel agents.
Copyright © Kelly Monaghan

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