Since you found Host Agency Reviews℠, you probably have a vague idea of what a travel host agency is. Heck, you may have even scoured our host agency list already! Either way, when you’re getting started as a home based travel agent, it’s important to be able to confidently answer the question “What is a host agency?” and “What are the advantages of using a host agency?”. There are many business structures you can align your travel agency with and understanding what makes a host agency different than a consortium or a travel franchise will ensure you make the right decision.
It all starts with one of my favorite things ever, the internet. Everyone knows the number of traditional storefront travel agencies plummeted when the internet went mainstream. But, while the internet made business more challenging for storefronts, it opened up a whole new frontier for some new kid on the blocks- the home based travel agent. With the new type of travel agent, a new travel agency business model appeared – the host agency.
The internet allowed agents to be able to work remotely. No longer did agents need to be done in the office, the internet allowed information to be transmitted via the web to wherever you wanted. Hot diggity!
As working remotely became more popular, host agencies grew. There are many smaller host agencies that work only with local travel agents or their own employees that are now independent contractors. However, the years have also created mega-hosts that have thousands of agents under their umbrellas all across the United States.
What is a host agency?
Whatever the size, the basic business model is the same. The host agency acts as an umbrella for travel agents that belong to their organization. All agents under the host will use the same booking number (ARC, IATA, CLIA, etc.) and will be seen by the vendors as one agency instead of a conglomeration of agencies.
The most common business model is for the host agency to offer a commission split with the agent. There may or may not be fees attached with it and the commission level splits vary drastically so make sure you do some comparison shopping. Examples of other business models include a one-time fee and no commission splits thereafter or a booking fee for each booking and no commission split.
By far, the majority of the agents that belong to host agencies are home based travel agents but it’s not unheard of for a storefront to belong to a host agency.
Finding a Host Agency
If you’re looking for a host agency, this site will have a vast amount of knowledge for you to soak up about the industry. We also have the most comprehensive host agency list on the web along with travel agent reviews of the hosts.
Questions? Ask Away.
I’ve worked in the host agency field for years and during that time have talked with thousands of agents looking to start a travel agency from home over the years. Ask your questions in the comments below or drop me a line on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. The travel industry opens possibilities of traveling to beautiful places for continuing education! It’s important to understand you still have to work in the travel industry, you just get to have a lot more fun doing it than most people! Hope to see you around the industry soon.