Best Host Travel Agency of 2019? Announcing HAR's Luminary Awards!

June 12, 2019
Best Host Travel Agency of 2019? Announcing HAR's Luminary Awards!


Who is the best host travel agency in 2019? Correction, we need to make that: Who are the best host travel agencies in 2019? How does one even determine who those top host agencies might be? These are the big life questions we ask ourselves at HAR. Frankly, they are the big life questions that prospective travel agents ask us on pretty much a daily basis!

It turns out we take these kinds of questions pretty seriously (yeah, we're just not into hypotheticals I guess). So we set out to answer them by creating the Host Agency Reviews annual Luminary Awards! 🤩

The Best Host Travel Agency in 2019?

I get it. You're here because you want to know who the best host travel agency is for your agency. And the first thing we do is tell you, 'Oh sorry, it's not just one host agency that is the best, you really need to be asking who are the best host travel agencies . . . as in plural.' Doesn't really make your search much easier, does it?

The truth is there isn't a best host travel agency in 2019 — or any year, really — because there's a lot of subjective things you need to consider when making your decision. Do you like the company culture, do the reviews on the profile speak highly of the technology or tools that are important to you, and now that we mention it, what exactly is important to you?

This is why it's hard to definitively name the best host travel agency out there. There simply isn't one host that is perfect for everyone!

Enter, the HAR Luminary Awards. It's our way of recognizing companies that we feel deserve recognition for their transparency and engagement on the site.

All About HAR's Luminary Awards

What are they? It's more than just amazing-looking badge swag (stay tuned . . . they look sharp). The Luminary Awards have a set of objective criteria in order to keep it fair. We have our advertisers in there; we have people that don't advertise. We have large hosts; we have boutique hosts. No one pays to be entered in the contest, it's open to all the companies that have a profile on the site (profiles are free).

We know people are looking for the best host travel agency out there and this is the most objective way we could think to recognize the best host agencies in 2019.

Before we go into what requirements a company has to meet in order to be listed as a "best of" in the different host agency award categories, let's talk about how we leveled the playing field. We know that smaller host agencies can't meet the same requirements as a large host agency. To adjust for this, we created different tiers based on the size of the company.

We've named the groups very creatively, so make sure to read carefully as the tier names may be hard to remember: 😉

  1. Small (1-99 members)
  2. Medium (100-499)
  3. Large (500+)

The Best Host Travel Agency Award Categories

Now, onto our award categories! HAR Luminary Awards recognize hosts in four different ways:

  1. Supernova Award: Recognizes the hosts that received at least one new review the previous year and have an average star rating of 4+
  2. Nebula Award: Recognizes the hosts with a certain number of new reviews
  3. Constellation Award: Recognizes the host agencies that engage with readers on their Host Agency Reviews' profile (responding to questions and reviews)
  4. Data Scientist Award: Recognizes the host agencies with the most participation in our surveys.

Note: All the award data is from the host's aggregate info of the previous year (2018).

Is the suspense unbearable?! I know! Me too! Who are the best host agencies in 2019?!? Here they are in each category, listed in alphabetical order.


HAR Top Host Agency Supernova Award Badge


The 2019 Host Agency Reviews Supernova Award Winners

Sometimes a star gets so big and so bright that it's about to explode. That sums up our supernova awards, which recognizes the best host agencies in 2019 that have a 4.0 or higher average star rating, and have received at least one new review the previous year.1 Here are the hosts that burned brightly!


Large Host Agency supernova Award winners

  1. Avoya, An American Express Travel Representative
  2. KHM Travel Group
  3. Outside Agents
  4. Travel Quest Network
  5. Travel Planners International

Medium Host Agency Supernova Award Winners

  1. Andavo
  2. Gateway Travel
  3. Gifted Travel Network
  4. Incentive Connection Travel
  5. Ticket to Travel

Small Host Agency supernova Award Winners

  1. Legato


HAR Top Host Agency Nebula Award Badge


The 2019 Host Agency Reviews Nebula Award Winners

What is that faraway cloud of light brightening in the distance? They are the best host agencies of all sizes that have accumulated the most new reviews.2

Who are these hosts attracting the attention of new travel agent ICs? Drumroll please . . .


Large Host Agency Nebula Award winners

  1. Avoya, An American Express Travel Representative
  2. Outside Agents
  3. Travel Quest Network

Medium Host Agency Nebula Award Winners

  1. Gateway Travel
  2. Gifted Travel Network

Small Host Agency Nebula Award Winners

  1. Legato


HAR Top Host Agency Constellation Award Badge


The 2019 Host Agency Reviews Constellation Award Winners

Sure. Stars are bright and fun when they fly solo, but they're a lot more interesting to look at when they gather in groups and hangout in the sky in the shape of a horse, dog, or a mythical Greek hunter with a fancy belt and bow and arrows. The HAR Constellation Award is for best travel host agencies who really engage on their profiles.3 They answer your questions. They respond to your reviews. They want you to be as informed as possible!

Large Host Agency Constellation Award winners

  1. Travel Quest Network

Small host Agency Constellation Award Winners

  1. Legato

Where are mid-sized winners, you ask? We didn't have any winners for mid-sized and smaller hosts this year! But stay tuned next year since there's a lot more opportunity to engage with our shiny new site!


HAR Top Host Agency Data Scientist Award Badge


The 2019 Host Agency Reviews Data Scientist Award Winners

We like data A LOT. You probably know by now that we proudly consider ourselves nerds, geeks, data-dorks, eggheads, dweebs . . . you get the idea. Every year we publish delectable data through our income survey and fee survey.

But guess what?! That great data doesn't come from thin air. Not even close. We partner with host agencies and franchises, who do a lot of legwork in reaching out to their ICs to participate! The Data Scientist award recognizes the best host travel agencies and franchises who make these sometimes-Herculean efforts so our data is all the more stunning in our infographics.4 Who are these hosts this year?

Large Host Agency & Franchise Data Scientist Award winners

  1. Cruise Planners - an American Express Travel Representative
  2. KHM Travel Group
  3. Nexion Travel Group
  4. Travel Planners International
  5. Travel Quest Network

When it comes to mid-sized and smaller hosts, we don't have any hosts that met our criteria! But check back next year to see which ones are geeking out with us!

That's a Wrap (for Now)

*High five* to all the best travel host agencies and franchises in 2019 that were recognized with Host Agency Reviews' industry awards!! We know they'll keep shining on, providing stellar (get it, stellar) resources and support to burgeoning and established agents alike.

And stay tuned for next January to see which hosts will return to claim their prize, and which one will be newbies on the HAR award circuit!

Footnotes

  1. What was our criteria for the supernova award? Simple. All hosts must have a 4 or higher average star rating and at least one new review for the previous year. Additionally: Small hosts need 15 or more total reviews; mid-sized hosts need 35 total reviews; large hosts need 100 total reviews.
  2. Criteria: Large hosts (500+ ICs), ≥25 new reviews; Mid-sized hosts (100-499 ICs), ≥10 new reviews; Small hosts (fewer than 50 ICs) ≥3 new reviews
  3. Criteria: Large hosts (500+ ICs), ≥ 35 interactions; Mid-sized hosts (100-499 ICs), ≥ 15 interactions; Small hosts (fewer than 50 ICs), ≥ 5 interactions
  4. What was our criteria for the Data Scientist award? Hosts must participate in both surveys and a have total participant count of: Large hosts (500+ ICs), ≥ 100 IC participants; Mid-sized hosts (100-499 ICs), 40 IC participants; Small hosts (fewer than 50 ICs), ≥ 20 IC participants
About the Author
Mary Stein - Host Agency Reviews

Mary Stein

Mary Stein has been working as a writer and editor for Host Agency Reviews since 2016. She loves supporting travel advisors on their entrepreneurial journey and is inspired by their passion, tenacity, and creativity. Mary is also a mom, dog lover, fiction writer, hiker, and a Great British Bake Off superfan.