The best way to get started in the travel industry is to affiliate your self with host travel agencies. In order to keep 100 percent of your commission on booking travel arrangements, you will need to be an independent travel agent, not associated with a host agency. You will be responsible, as an independent travel agent, to keep track of your commission and handle all accounting and establish your relationship with the suppliers. It is not recommended to try to start your own business independent of a travel host if you are not an experienced travel agent.
The basics for becoming an independent contractor are to:
* Coordinate yourself with a host agency, they will provide you with the support of an established business. Your initial travel agent training, accounting, commission tracking, and a booking engine, is usually included with this coordination. The host agency can get higher commissions than an individual, who has no sales volume. Some other benefits of aligning with a host agency are access to the agency's consortium, where you can get great travel deals for your clients, plus you get the use of the agency's credentials, (CLIA, IATAN, TRUE, ARC) which will allow you to book travel services and products with the suppliers and in return get travel suppliers training.
* Network and find a host agency. Obtain referrals so that you can make an informed decision. Find out what if any type of support and benefits are available. Contact the Better Business Bureau and check credentials.
* Compare all benefits and fees. Host agencies benefits will vary, as well as, commissions paid and training you will receive. Some agencies may not charge while others may charge as much or more than $750. Others may only charge monthly fees. Balance out expenses and revenue.
* Will your agency track your sales and commissions or will you need to do so.
* Obtain error and omissions insurance if the agency's agreement does not include it. The better agencies will have this as an added benefit. If not an added benefit you may purchase through such sites as Travel Agent Protect or The Berkeley Group.
* Find out if the agency offers additional training through seminars or if the company will offer interactive or online training. You may also be given the opportunity to learn from agents who successfully run their own businesses.
* Check into selling travel vouchers.