How To Be A Bad Travel Agent

The 10-Step Guide To Doing Everything Wrong


Veteran travel industry journalist James Shillinglaw of Travel Market Report has created a sort of Baedecker to common errors that travel agents make again and again. Even good agents make some of these errors some of the time, so listening to Shillinglaw’s observations is a good idea, even if you’ve been through the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course and are conscientiously applying its principles.

James Shillinglaw

James Shillinglaw, ASTA Travel Journalist of the Year, knows a bad travel agent when he sees one

Here are some of my favorites.

Does not know destinations: Again, the bad agent really may not have experienced the destinations he or she sells, at least not to the extent where they can truly relate their experiences to clients. The bad agent also doesn’t take advantage of destination specialist training courses to improve his or her knowledge of a country, region or city. It’s virtually impossible to sell a destination without having experienced it personally.

That’s one reason I so strongly advise that you specialize. It’s also why I urge newcomers to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by suppliers and industry associations to experience destinations at first hand — at steeply discounted rates!

Does not sell groups: One of the most lucrative sales an agent can make is a group sale. Indeed, just by sheer force of numbers, a group sales is much more profitable than selling individual travel. So a good agent seeks out groups and markets to them, thus producing greater revenues and a profits. A bad agent has not figured out how to do this.

That’s why whenever they book a vacation, smart travel agents ask, “You want friends with that?” You might be surprised how many single bookings can be turned into small groups.

But perhaps my favorite (for pretty obvious and obviously self-serving reasons) is this one:

Doesn’t get trained: A bad agent fails to constantly seek out education and training on suppliers, destinations and how to run his or her business better. Usually he or she complains there simply isn’t enough time to do this, because of the constant demand to book travel for clients. Without training, however, that business may eventually dry up. It’s very hard to retool in the travel business without training.

‘How To Take Your Business To The Next Level’ Module 4

Students of the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course get more than
just the basics. If you’ve set the course aside while you were getting your
travel marketing business up and running, this might be
a good time to review Module 4.

Click here to access your course.

Don’t have the course? Click here.

To read Jim Shillinglaw’s other seven tips for becoming a bad travel agent, click here.

home-based travel agent course

How To Be A Bad Travel Agent was last modified: February 21st, 2016 by Kelly Monaghan