In the last 20 years many things have changed in the world of travel and now is a great time to be looking at a travel agent business opportunity. What do I mean by this? Let’s look at the landscape and history of the last two decades. In the early 90’s airlines realized that paying commission to travel agents was one of their biggest expenses and many airline executives viewed travel agents as just plain order takers. Maybe that was the case when someone went into an agency and wanted to go from point A to point B, the agent looked up the lowest fare and booked it for the person. So did the travel agent bring value to the airline if all they did was look up the lowest rate and book it on that carrier? Not for that type of booking. Did the travel agent have an alternative way to get their client to their destination? Not really, you see airline travel became a necessary and preferred way to travel instead of a car or train, those modes of travel took way too long especially for business travelers. Airlines said, hummm we have a product that people absolutely need, we have these agents that don’t bring much value, the commission is a huge hit to our bottom line, plus there is another business model doing well and also this new thing people are beginning to use. Hence a decision was made by the airlines to cut travel agent commissions to 0% at that time. So why is now a great time to look at a travel agent business opportunity?
First, let’s look at what happened in the later part of the 90’s, we saw the start of many brick and mortar travel agencies going out of business, since most of their business was driven by airline travel. We saw a new business model with Southwest airlines growing and going direct to the consumer, we had a new way to communicate with a thing called email on this system called the internet. In addition a new travel agent business opportunity had begun in the early 90’s and was now picking up steam and joining other types of businesses in working out of the home.
In 2001 we saw the World Trade Center attacks which led to more closings of brick and mortar travel agencies. But in life when one opportunity closes another one opens up and during the 90’s and into the new millennium cruise vacations began to soar along with resort vacations. A travel agent business opportunity had changed from being a brick and mortar operation with employees and high overhead to a home based model with minimal overhead, independent contractors and specialization. Gone are the days where you have to sit down in an office to plan a vacation when you can do that from the comfort of you own home.
The Internet was going to take over many industries and put many small business owners out of business but that hasn’t happened in travel. It’s actually helped propel people towards a travel agent business opportunity; now home based agency owners can market themselves with a website, write blogs, buy keywords, use social media and reach more people around the country and world than ever before. They can work over the phone or via email at any time of the day or evening, research destinations quicker and easier, work while at a store shopping or in their office. So being able to own and operate a travel agency is easier and less expensive than ever before.
The cruise industry provides a great avenue to start in a travel agent business opportunity. Only 24% of the US population has ever taken a cruise and in the next 3 years it’s estimated that 50 million people would like to go on a cruise. 80% of cruises are booked through a travel agent.* The internet has not had an impact on the way cruises are booked like it did airline tickets or hotels. You see there is more to a cruise booking than going from point A to point B, there are more options that need discussing such as what cruise line, cabin arrangement, dining times, itinerary, shore excursions, pre or post cruise stays, travel insurance coverage etc. Consumers enjoy convenience, ease, saving time and money and that’s where a travel agent comes in. So if you are looking for your own business with unlimited potential or have a passion for travel and are looking to change careers then you should look into the travel agent business opportunity at CruiseOne.
*CLIA statistics 2010