The Independent Travel Advisor Report Summary, 2022

March 7, 2023

We're shaking things up with our hosted travel advisor report this year, and I think you'll like it :) This year, you can download our full Independent Travel Advisor Report, 2022. If you don't need any theatrical trailers, you can go ahead and download the full report now!

We bundled all our data on the latest trends in travel advisor income, fees, operations, consortia relationships, and demographics into one whopper of a report (make that a double whopper). You can download the full 2022 Independent Travel Advisor Report (or preview the goods below).

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Below offers a preview of what the report cover, including its table of contents and summary:

2022 Independent Advisor Income Trend Takeaways

Of the 1492 total travel advisors who completed HAR's 2022 Travel Advisor survey, 16% were independent advisors. Here's this segment at a glance:

2022 Independent Advisor Snapshot

A counterpart to their hosted peers, independent advisors were a more experienced segment, with a majority (52%) reporting over 15 years of industry experience.

How did the independent advisor segment fare in 2021? A smaller percentage of independent advisors reported lower sales levels in 2021 compared to 2020 (79% compared to 83% respectively). Most independent advisors reported a 41%-60% decrease in sales, compared to an 81%-100% decrease the previous year.

Average income among full-time independent advisors recoverd to 86% of prepandemic income levels in 2019.

During this recovery year, average annual sales (among all independent advisors) landed at $402,235 in 2021. The graph below looks at aggregate earnings for full-time and part-time advisors.

2022 FT/PT Independent Advisor Income

Full-time independent advisors earned over 3x more than their part-time peers. Average income among full-time independent advisors recovered to 86% of pre-pandemic income levels in 2019 ($52,100 compared to $59,976).

When looking at hours worked, independent advisors were rewarded with higher average incomes as they clocked more hours:

Indpendent Income by hours worked 2022

Hours had a stronger correlation to higher income than experience, which resulted in more variable average incomes. Below looks at the average income among independent advisors by years of industry experience:

2022 Independent Advisor FT Income by Experience

Compared to hosted peers, independent advisors were disproportionately more experienced and much less likely to work part-time. We did not receive enough data from independent advisors in our 2022 survey to break down income averages for part-time advisors by hours worked or experience.

Here are a few more income trend takeaways for independent advisors:

  1. FT independent advisors earned more than 3x higher income than PT advisors ($52,100 compared to $15,708)
  2. FT experienced advisors charging both service and consultation fees earned a 25% higher average income than those who did not charge.
  3. Advisors were rewarded with more income for longer work hours. The greatest leap in average income according to time investment occurred between the part-time and full-time divide. Those who worked 31-40 hours, earned over double those who worked 21-30 hours/week.

Our full report includes a whole lot more on independent advisor income including:

  1. Which Niches and products earned the highest average incomes
  2. How did client volume impact income?
  3. How did fee charging impact income potential overall?
  4. How did income compare to the hosted segment?

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2022 Independent Travel Advisor Fee Trend Takeaways

2022 Independent Travel Advisor Fee Trends

Since 2020, independent advisors have led the charge when it comes to charging fees (you can read past fee reports here). In our 2022 survey, 68% of independent advisors reported charging fees, a colossal 12-point jump from 56% in our 2021 survey.

Here are a few big-picture takeaways on independent advisor fees.

  1. 68% of independent advisors charged a fee in 2021. This is equal to last year's results, but significantly higher than pre-pandemic 2019 levels when 47% charged a fee.
  2. A higher percentage of independent advisors charged both service and consultation fees (42% in 2021 compared to 24% in 2020). Full-time experienced advisors who charged both types of fees were rewarded with 25% higher average income compared to those who charged no fees, ($61,898 compared to $49,677 respectively).
  3. In 2021, 57% of independent advisors charged a service fee, making it the most common fee type for this segment. Among those who charged service fees, 74% charged both air-fees and non-air service fees.
  4. 42% of independent advisors charged a consultation fee in 2121. The most common fee consultation fee was a fix fee (compared to an hourly fee or per-person fee).

The full 2022 Independent Travel Advisor Report also includes:

  1. A service fee chart to benchmark your current fees
  2. Rates and trends for air-ticketing
  3. Fee charging trends by experience level
  4. A look at motivations and hesitations to charge fees
  5. and much more!
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This Is Just the Beginning

While this summary offers a cursory look at income and fee trends among independent advisors, the full report takes a deep dive into:

  1. Consortia relationships (which consortia were most popular among independent advisors).
  2. Accreditation alignment (which accreditations were most popular among independent advisors).
  3. Demographic trends among independent advisors.
  4. Career satisfaction among independent advisors.
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Thank You to Survey Partners!

We heart travel advisors! Without you, our survey dreams are merely pipe dreams.

Industry partners are important conduits between this survey and the advisor community. These partners went the extra mile to help generate survey participation and help us connect with a broader and more diverse network of advisors.

We want to extend a colossal thank you to the industry partners who support our data shenanigans here at Host Agency Reviews: American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Adventure Travel and Trade Association, Celebrity Cruises, Departure Lounge, Gifted Travel Network, Nexion Travel Group, Montecito Village Travel, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, TaConnect, Travel Leaders Network, Travel Pulse, and Uniglobe Travel Center!

Want to add your organization's name to this list? Drop me a line at and we’ll chat!

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.