The Independent Travel Advisor Report, 2023
Our Independent Travel Advisor Report, 2023 profiles advisors who have their own accreditation number, profiling results from Host Agency Reviews' (HAR) 2023 Travel Advisor Survey.
The Independent Travel Advisor Report, 2023 covers significant ground on this unique segment, looking at income trends, fees, operations, technology use, consortia relationships, demographics, and more. Whether you're an advisor, a supplier, an agency ally, or a host agency... there is something for everyone!
Here's a preview of the report's full Table of Contents so you can get a taste of what to expect in our 60+ page report.
Beyond a big-picture look, the independent report homes in on this unique segment, highlighting what separates them from their hosted peers.
Something for Everyone: How Travel Industry Professionals Can Use HAR's Data
There's a lot of data in our 70+ page research report. We have a few ideas on how you can leverage it to glean insights most relevant to your corner of the industry. Here's a few shortcuts with tips on how to use the report data depending on where you're positioned in the industry:
Purchase the full report!
Agency Owners (SOLO & those with ICs and/or employees)
Agencies and their advisors are at the heart of HAR's "Hosted Travel Advisor Report, 2023." Regardless of the size of your agency—whether you're a solo advisor or have dozens (or hundreds) of ICs and/or employees—the report is rife with data for advisors at all stages of the game, from starting up to scaling big.
Solo advisors and agency owners can:
- Benchmark personal sales and income against current averages, taking into account niche, experience, hours worked, and more
- Use the data to project future sales and income goals
- Gain an understanding of income potential (or average income) by niche and product
- See where your average sales per booking falls compared to the industry at large
- Make data-backed decisions on fee amounts by comparing them to industry medians
- Use demographic and regional data to see what can set an advisor apart in terms of client reach
- Compare your host agency commission split to the latest industry standards
- Find the travel tech that most advisors are using
- Discover why advisors leave their consortia
- and more!
Additionally, agencies with ICs (or hoping to host or hire advisors) can:
- Benchmark personal income based on IC volume
- Benchmark sales per booking amounts based on product and niche trends
- Understand what technologies hosted advisors use, and when they use tools provided by their host agency versus supplying their own instead of (or in addition to) a host's tools
- Explore which consortia independent advisors gravitate toward
- Discover which accreditations independent advisors are using
- and more!
Consortia & Travel orgs
With the majority of hosted respondents (85%), our Hosted Travel Report 2023 is a treasure trove of information for host agencies and consortia alike. HAR's research report data can help host agencies and consortia in many ways:
- Competitive intelligence (e.g. using the data to help clarify your unique selling point as a consortium to inform your marketing initiatives)
- Informing your resource development for your advisors (e.g. offering a concrete guide to standard fees)
- Discover where the highest concentration of independent advisors resides to inform your outreach strategy
- Understanding how independent advisors as a segment perceive consortia relationships to anticipate needs for new and experienced advisors alike
- and more!
For host agencies, the "Hosted Travel Advisor Report" is a must-have. For consortia, we recommend the bundle which includes the "Hosted Travel Advisor Report, 2023" and the "Independent Travel Advisor Report, 2023."
Suppliers, DMOs, and DMCs
93% of new advisors chose the hosted route in 2022 making it the most popular pathway to starting a career as a travel advisor. In 2022, hosted advisors who took the survey generated 218,342 bookings for suppliers and 1.5 billion in sales. Yet, they are an elusive segment, difficult to track.
As a supplier, it's imperative to have a strong understanding of the fastest-growing segment of advisors: hosted advisors.
HAR's research report provides a rare opportunity for suppliers, DMOs, and DMCs to look at the latest trends in products and niches for this segment. Here's how your organization benefit from this report:
- Illustrates trends among a very experienced travel advisor segment.
- Find concrete data on the independent advisor's growth potential.
- Understand what technology independent advisors use.
Additionally, the research report looks at product trends in myriad ways including:
- Income generated by primary niche
- Average sales per booking for top products
- Most common niche and products for advisors overall compared to new advisors
- Where independent advisors are most concentrated
The data offers opportunities to engage in competitive analysis, inform product development and marketing initiatives, guide competitive pricing strategies, and tailor your product offerings.
For suppliers, we recommend the bundle which includes the "Hosted Travel Advisor Report, 2023" and the "Independent Travel Advisor Report, 2023."
Travel Tech companies
This year we took a closer look at travel tech. In our technology section, professionals can learn from advisors' use of CRM, websites, booking engines, and itinerary builders. In this section, you can:
- Learn about market share for the biggest travel tech play among a diverse cross-section of hosted advisors
- Learn what percentage of agents use booking engines, Websites, CRMS, and Itinerary Builders
- Learn the latest trends as to which products hosted advisors gravitated to in 2022
With this information, you'll be able to track product growth over time among different sectors as we continue to track trends in future surveys. It provides opportunities for competitive analysis, market share among independent advisors, and more.
For tech companies, we recommend the bundle which includes the "Hosted Travel Advisor Report, 2023" and the "Independent Travel Advisor Report, 2023."
The Independent Travel Advisor, 2023: Report Summary
The data in HAR's Hosted Travel Advisor Report, 2023 reflects income earned and fees charged in 2022, a time of industry whiplash resulting from pent-up demand to travel coming to fruition after a near industry standstill. Surging travel demand in a post-shutdown travel environment aligned with soaring interest in utilizing travel advisor services.
In 2023, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) reported that 50% of travelers were more likely to use a travel advisor than in the past. Additionally, 27% of ASTA advisors reported that more than half of their travel clients were working with travel advisors for the first time.
Indeed, HAR's data reflect what industry leaders are seeing on the ground. The 2068 advisors who completed HAR's survey reported producing over 1.5 billion in sales, generating 218,342 bookings for suppliers in 2022.
Advisors are moving well beyond a recovery mindset. In a robust travel rebound environment, the income increases between this reporting year (2022) and the prior year (2021) are significant, with income increases above and beyond what would be considered "typical" in a pre-pandemic setting.
Of the 2068 total travel advisors who completed HAR's 2023 Travel Advisor survey, 11% were independent advisors.
Here's the independent advisor segment at a glance.
Many independent advisors started their career as a hosted advisor. These advisors were most likely to make the switch after 3 years of being hosted.
Income on the rise for independent advisors
How did independent advisors fare? The big picture numbers for independent advisors in 2022 reflect a rebound from COVID-impacted income lows.
Average annual sales (among all independent advisors) landed at $530,744 in 2022, a 32% increase from the prior year. Average income jumped 31%, from $52,100 in 2021 to $68,307 in 2022.
The graph below illustrates the income profile for independent advisors in 2022, comparing full-time and part-time average income by experience levels.
Income for independent advisors was variable when looking at experience levels. The graph below illustrates the income profile for independent advisors in 2022, comparing full-time and part-time average income by experience levels.
Unlike the hosted peers, hours worked and industry experience didn’t have a uniform effect on higher income levels. The report will examine which factors were more likely to play a role in higher earnings for this segment.
Every person here at HAR has their hands in the creation of our survey reports! I like to think of our travel advisor reports as a geeky love letter to the travel advisor industry and the community that supports it!
The most critical part of our survey is the advisors who take the time out of their ridiculously busy schedules knee-deep in travel rebound bookings to take our survey. . . all 2068 of you! Our survey is in-depth and frankly, we don’t throw softballs. So thank you for busting out your P&Ls, 1099s, and/or digging into the recesses of your memories to contribute to the best industry data out there. You are the pillar of these reports (and keeper of our nerdy, nerdy hearts).
This report is not possible without our partners. 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 (ATTA), BranchUp, Celebrity Cruises, Dugan's Travels LLC, Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialist Association (DWHSA), Fora Travel, Gifted Travel Network, Independent by Flight Centre, KHM Travel, MAST Travel Network, Nexion Travel Group, Montecito Village Travel, Outside Agents, Pickles Travel Network, TaConnect, Travel Leaders Network, Travel Pulse, and Uniglobe Travel Center!
Want to add your name to this stellar list of partners? Drop a line at Mary@HostAgencyReviews.com and we’ll chat!