By: Gary Johnson, Franchise Development Specialist
As the cruise and travel industry faces a time of unprecedented growth to meet unprecedented demand, there has, perhaps, never been a better time to become a travel agent. In fact the cruise industry is breaking records year after year and is forecasting nothing less than an explosion in future capacity. Industry sources reveal there are currently more than 30 new cruise ships under construction. With building costs of several hundred thousand dollars each, the cruise lines are preparing for a time in the very near future when the world will experience a major age shift. In fact, by the year 2020, there will be more than 1 billion people over the age of 60! This year alone, cruise ships will carry more than 21 million passengers.
While many believed that the internet would spell the end of anyone wanting to become a travel agent, quite the opposite has evolved.
- Statistics reveal that 90% of all cruises are booked using a travel agent.
- In addition, 75% of land package vacations use a travel agent.
- In fact, the internet has become a friend to the travel agent allowing prospects and customers to do their research online.
The result is, in many cases, the client knows what ship, cabin, itinerary, and cruise line they are ready to purchase. Or, in the case of land vacations, they know their destination and resort of choice.
One of the most convenient and inexpensive ways to become a travel agent is to explore the option of a home based travel franchise. Operating from your home allows you to take advantage of low overhead and since your franchise business is web-based, you have the freedom to work from any location with high speed internet access. In addition, the franchise company provides your business with turnkey marketing opportunities as well as a robust technology suite. Having these necessities provided allows for a focus on profitability.
A core reason to become a travel agent remains unchanged from the original days of the travel business. Day by day, travel agents can deliver a product to their customers, which allow their customer’s dreams to come true. Very few other occupations provide that kind of satisfaction.