Best Host Travel Agencies of 2023 | HAR's Luminary Awards!

Mary Stein
January 27, 2023

Developing the Luminary Awards in 2019 was one of HAR's spontaneous ideas rooted in celebrating the host companies who deserve recognition for their transparency, advisor support, and engagement on HAR's site in an epic way.

If you can't tell from our casual Friday Host Week attire (feat. astronaut helmets) we here at Host Agency Reviews aren't afraid to make a big display to help override the fun-o-meter. We got pretty nerdy about our awards, developing our own metric for award qualifications to give a fair shake to hosts of every size! Yes, our awards are space-themed. Yes, ANY host listed on our site qualifies for our awards!

So who were the standout host agencies in 2023?

The Best Host Agencies in 2023

Finding the perfect host is subjective. Your forever host agency may not even make a good first date for another travel advisor. Our Luminary Awards recognize host agencies that engage with the growing advisor community and support people like you to find the best host out there.

The 5 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.
  5. The Galaxy Award!!!!: To receive a galaxy award, a host agency needs to win in all four other categories. To be frank, it's really hard to nab this award. Sure, hosts can win some of the Luminary Awards just by being their amazing selves, but the Galaxy Award is the pinnacle of Luminary achievement.

Note: All the award data is from the host's aggregate info of the previous year (2022). To keep things super democratic, we're not going to separate them by host size (just in old school ABC order)

Is the suspense unbearable?! I know! Me too! Who are the best host agencies in 2023?!? Here they are in each category, listed in alphabetical order.

HAR Top Host Agency Supernova Award Badge

The 2023 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. Its criteria recognize the best host agencies in 2023 that have a 4.0 or higher average star rating, and have received at least one new review the previous year. Here are the hosts that burned brightly!

HAR Top Host Agency Nebula Award Badge

The 2023 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.

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

HAR Top Host Agency Constellation Award Badge

The 2023 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 engage on their profiles. They answer your questions. They respond to your reviews. They want you to be as informed as possible!

HAR Top Host Agency Data Scientist Award Badge

The 2023 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. Who are these hosts this year?

The 2023 Host Agency Reviews Galaxy Award Winners are . . .

The Best Host Agency: 2021 Galaxy Award

The Galaxy Award, is for hosts who've gone the extra mile and received an award in EVERY category. We get so excited about the Galaxy Award, that we reveal the winner with a video!

Drumroll PLEASE!!!

See Past Luminary Award Winners!

This isn't our first rodeo! You can find past Luminary Award winners here:

  1. 2022 Luminary Awards
  2. 2021 Luminary Awards
  3. 2020 Luminary Awards
  4. 2019 Luminary Awards

That's a Wrap (for Now)

*High five* to all the best travel host agencies and franchises in 2022 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!

You Want to Win a 2024 Luminary Award? Here's how!

So you're chomping at the bit to win a Luminary Award? This year, we expanded the host size categories to make sure Luminary Awards were an even playing field regardless of a host's size! (Previously we had 3 categories, now we have 5.)

With the exception of the Suprernova award (which awards a high average star rating), we tally up our data from the previous year to determine our award winners. Here's the deets:

  1. Supernova Criteria: All hosts must have a 4+ star rating and at least one new review from the previous year. Additionally, hosts need:
  2. X-Small (≤24): ≥ 2 total reviews
  3. Small (25 - 99): ≥ 7 total reviews
  4. Medium (100 - 499): ≥ 12 total reviews
  5. Large (500 - 999): ≥ 50 total reviews
  6. X-Large (1,000+): ≥ 100 total reviews
  7. Nebula Criteria: Nebula rewards hosts for new reviews:
  8. X-Small (<24): ≥1 new review
  9. Small (25 - 99): ≥ 3 new reviews
  10. Medium (100 - 499): ≥5 new reviews
  11. Large (500 - 999): ≥10 new reviews
  12. X-Large (1,000+): ≥15 new reviews
  13. Constellation Criteria: This award tracks a host's number of interactions (via onsite Q&A) and/or responses to reviews.
  14. X-Small (≤24): ≥ 1
  15. Small (25 - 99): ≥ 3 interactions
  16. Medium (100 - 499): ≥5 interactions
  17. Large (500 - 999): ≥10 interactions
  18. X-Large (1,000+): ≥15 interactions
  19. Data Scientist Criteria: This award is for the number of host's ICs who take our surveys. The number of respondents needed are:
  20. X-Small (≤24): ≥ 2 respondents
  21. Small (25 - 99): ≥ 7 respondents
  22. Medium (100 - 499): ≥ 12 respondents
  23. Large (500 - 999): ≥ 50 respondents
  24. X-Large (1,000+): ≥ 100 respondents
  25. Galaxy Criteria: I like to refer to Galaxy Award winners as "the sweepers." These are the hosts who've won an award in every other category.