Every travel advisor must make a choice—take the solely independent route or get the resources and tools you need to make your business stand out with a host agency. No matter the final choice, it is crucial you do your research. A lot of host agencies are currently asking, “Why use a host agency? What are the benefits of working with a host agency?”
Thanks to the Internet, it may seem that using a host agency is an old and outdated formula. However, it is because of the Internet, and the myriad of choices travelers have, that make a host agency such a vital part of any travel advisor’s business plan. Not only does a host agency unlock a series of benefits that will help you stay relevant, but there are several other advantages to working with a host agency. Let’s look at the top seven why you should consider it.
Reason #1: Programs and Tools
If you are a seasoned at-home travel advisor, chances are you have a list of programs and tools that currently work for you. However, there are exclusive programs available only to those advisors with host agency support. For example, Andavo Travel has access to multiple Global Distribution Systems (GDS). These systems give you access to and support from three of the best advisor platforms on the market today—Apollo, Worldspan, Sabre.
These GDS systems have the flexibility within the platforms to provide tools and training an advisor needs to up their business game. Not only do these programs make it easy to communicate with travel partners, but they also give you real-time inventory so you can make reliable purchases for all of your clients.
Reason #2: Administrative Support
Working with a host agency unlocks a connection with Business Development Managers (BDMs) from all across the globe. Andavo Travel has established relationships with most of these BDMs. For example, this benefit will come to the rescue whenever you have a problem with booking a client’s travel itinerary. These long-standing relationships will allow you to navigate sales volumes and re-negotiate numbers in your favor.
Not only is administrative support necessary in terms of booking, but as you grow your business, as well. Our experienced travel experts can direct you towards better sales tactics, business management programs, and more. No matter what you need, Andavo Travel gives you the support you need to get you there.
Reason #3: Networking Opportunities
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of working with a host agency is increasing your networking opportunities. The travel industry is primarily based on relationships. One way you can improve your contacts within the industry and with other advisors is through networking. Whether you do it across the world wide web, on social media, or at different networking events, a host agency gives you these opportunities in the dozens.
Andavo Travel hosts an annual conference for all of our advisors in a different, exciting city each year called the AndavoMart Conference. This conference brings thousands of advisors together to learn from each other and grow their travel business. Margie Hand of Andavo Travel said this of the conference, “There are numerous training opportunities offered throughout the year via webinars, Virtuoso’s Travel Academy, and our annual AndavoMart conference. I look forward to many more successful years as a part of this great host travel agency.”
Reason #4: Vendor Relationships
Travel vendors are another major benefit advisors working with a host agency receives. From hotels to cruise lines, airlines, and more, there are an array of vendors that exclusively work with agencies in the hopes of their clients booking with them. This benefits your business by giving you, and your clients access to better rates and deals.
At Andavo Travel, we have preferred relationships with a variety of vendors to benefit your clients. Some of these clients include:
- Four Seasons Preferred Partner
- Marriott Luxury Brands
- Belmond Bellini Club
- Hyatt Privé
- Shangri-la Luxury Circle
- Rocco Forte Hotels
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Seabourn Elite
- Zegrahm Expeditions
- Abercrombie & Kent 100 Club
- Delta Vacations Platinum Preferred
- Classic Vacations
- Travel Impressions
Reason #5: Social Media Connections
Social media is now a major part of the travel industry. Host agencies can know help you navigate the social media world in a way that benefits your business. At Andavo Travel,
our marketing team offers one-on-one, personalized training on the social media platform(s) of your choice and will work with you to create a professional business profile page and ensure you know how to publish effectively to it. Following the training by Andavo, the travel advisor will ultimately be responsible for the execution of all social media posts. There is no charge for any social media training.
Reason #6: Commissions
The benefits of working with a host agency also include high compensation and commissions. From the beginning, you can receive benefits that include monetary compensation. A significant advantage of working with a host agency is that all of the home-based advisors under a host are seen as one travel agency. If you choose a good host, with a well-deserved reputation and decent size, the combined buying power should give you top commissions on all major suppliers.
At Andavo Travel, our compensation package is extremely competitive. There are no start-up fees, no monthly management fees, and quarterly incentive plans. Not only that, but we have excellent compensation options and earn higher commission rates thanks to the volume of business running through the Andavo Travel network.
Reason #7: Further Education
Just because your business is up, and running doesn’t mean there aren’t new tricks of the trade that you need to learn. Some host agencies leave all the work up to you, but a good one will give you endless education opportunities for you to better your business. Whether you want insight into a new program, want to try the latest marketing tactic, or something else, Andavo Travel gives you a variety of channels to increase your knowledge.
Along with all of the benefits listed, there are also hundreds of other advantages to using a host agency. Host agencies are a great way to get your business moving while having the independence of running your own home-based business and the connection and built-in support of the host agency’s community. With low risk, low start-up costs, and a community ready to help you better your business, joining a host agency is an excellent fit for many travel advisors.