Meet Fora, the Modern Travel Agency

March 11, 2024

The travel advisor industry has traditionally been hard to break into. It’s not uncommon to find strict sales quotas and cost-prohibitive training programs. There is a lot to learn, and, without guidance, it can feel overwhelming. 

Henley Vazquez, a seasoned travel advisor of 15+ years, is intimately familiar with the snags of the industry. In her career, she’s worked her way up the ranks from travel writing to planning and eventually started her own agency focused on family travel. Henley saw a need for something more inclusive and empowering, which eventually led her to co-found Fora in 2021. 

“From the start, we’ve welcomed advisors who want to build a career in travel on their own terms,” Henley explained. “By creating tools that make an advisors’ role more seamless, our goal is to empower the next generation of travel entrepreneurs.”   

With in-depth training, a supportive community, partnerships, seamless commission tracking & payments as well as tech tools, Fora is a one-stop shop for everything you need to become a successful travel advisor. Below, we’ve outlined the core pillars of what sets Fora apart as a modern host agency. We’ve included testimonials on Fora from their Host Agency Reviews (HAR) profile (which nearly 100 five-star reviews). 

Flexible training

Fora's Flexible Training
Fora’s Live Forum 2022, the agency’s biggest event of the year

In the travel world, there is a lot to learn. Getting started can be the scariest part, but with the right guidance and training, it starts to become second nature. Having the right resources makes all the difference.

Fora offers an in-depth travel advisor training program as well as travel agent certification. There is ongoing live training offered through Fora so that their advisors can connect directly with travel industry experts. Topics range from hotel deep dives to marketing workshops. 

“Fora gave me every training I could ever need so I feel comfortable booking hotels, cruises, all-inclusives,” wrote Fora Advisor Lauren Hirsh in a recent Host Agency Reviews review. “As a total newbie, I was worried I wouldn't know what to do but between the training and support, I feel totally confident that no matter what I come across, someone at Fora can help me.”

Fora Advisor Padma Hariharan also appreciated Fora’s library of training as she ‌jump-started her new career as a travel advisor in 2022.

“I’ve been very impressed with the focus on training: not just destination or supplier trainings, but trainings on all aspects of being a travel advisor,” Padma said. “The support from Fora HQ for all advisors to help make us more successful is incredible.”

Henley also prioritized flexibility for travel advisors from the start, and the self-guided training curriculum is no exception. As a mom herself, she understands firsthand that the most fulfilling careers are built on your own terms. 

“I truly believe that the tools Fora provides are the reason I have had such a successful first year as an advisor,” Juli Hall wrote on Fora’s HAR page. “I am so proud to be a Fora Advisor and can't wait to see what the future holds.” 

A supportive community

Fora's Supportive Community
Fora’s Live Forum 2023, the agency’s biggest event of the year

Community is a core focus at Fora. 

“We love what we do and we want to make it more accessible to more people,” Henley said. “Fora’s ethos is rooted in collaboration as well as community over competition. We have a ‘build the business you want’ mentality.” 

“In an industry that is notoriously sharp-elbowed, the Fora community is different,” she continued. “We show up, we participate and we support one another. There’s a palpable energy fueled by collaboration and a genuine excitement around what we do. When you meet us, you’ll feel like you’ve found ‘your people.’”

And our community of advisors agrees. 

“​​The community of travel advisors has been such an amazing support,” Fora Advisor Jessica Woods wrote. “I honestly can not imagine building this business and taking this next step without the entire team at Fora HQ and all of the advisors who continuously guide and support me.”

Fora offers a community app dedicated to sharing tips, asking for advice and celebrating each other’s wins. In addition, there are frequent in-person meet-ups and events (the company just launched a new local chapter initiative).

An expansive partner network

Fora's Partner Network

Most host agencies are part of preferred partner programs, which grant clients perks and preferred status. Sometimes, these programs even extend advisors enhanced commission. Partnering with a host agency gives advisors the flexibility of working as an independent contractor with the scalability from the power of an agency. 

Fora has preferred partnerships with over 4,500 hotels, cruises, tour operators and more. Through Fora’s partnerships, travelers can unlock elevated experiences at thousands of properties globally. Fora is part of every major preferred partner program, including Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred, Rosewood Elite, Hyatt Privé, Rocco Forte Knights and so much more. 

And they’re always expanding their network. Each month, Fora Reserve, the agency’s in-house preferred partner program, welcomes bespoke properties that aren’t necessarily part of a larger brand-level program. This gives Fora Advisors the ability to offer a wide portfolio of suppliers to their clientele, ranging from luxury to lifestyle and boutique.

“Through its premiere partnerships, Fora opened up the travel world to me in a way I didn't think possible!” Tara Anbudaiyan wrote on HAR. “Wherever I travel, I love that the hotel, DMC and event partners are eager to meet me because they know and respect the Fora brand.”

Seamless commission tracking & payments

Often, advisors have to chase hotels for their commission payments, following up multiple times before getting a response.   

“With Fora, I just forward confirmation details, [and the rest is taken care of],” Fora Advisor Amna Ismail said in an interview with TravelAge West. “There’s a department just for commissions, so they do the following up. It's an awesome perk.”

(If you’re looking for more intel, Fora has an article on how travel agents get paid.)

A tech-savvy approach

Another industry pain point that Henley knew needed a solution: antiquated technology. It’s not uncommon for advisors to have to piecemeal different platforms together (an itinerary builder for this, a client management system for that)... 

One of Fora’s first major tech releases was designed to simplify the booking process itself. Fora created an integrated booking platform so that everything is stored in one place. The booking platform includes trip research capabilities, secure client payment info and seamless booking all in one place.

“​​The website for agents is easy to navigate and straightforward so I don’t have to spend a great amount of time researching a destination. I find exactly what I need in a matter of minutes,” Fora Advisor Lisa Garber wrote. “I wish this company was around 20 years ago when I became a new agent.”

Indeed, Fora’s job is to make that of its advisors easier. The company aims to help their team build a fulfilling, sustainable career — and have fun while doing so. 

“Travel has been the one constant in my life! I never realized the potential in myself to arrange a vacation for others,” Fora Advisor Joanna Alejandro wrote. “Fora has given me a sense of purpose and adventure.”

Ready to turn your love for travel into a fun, flexible and fulfilling career? Apply to become a Fora Advisor today. 

Fora the Modern Travel Agency