Increase in home-based travel agents
Okay, all you home-based travel agents out there, it’s time to pat yourselves on the the back. Our segment of the travel distribution system just keeps getting bigger and bigger (and better and better, I might add!).
Travel Weekly’s latest industry survey had some eye-popping results. While the number of ARC-appointed agencies (in other words, traditional storefront travel agencies) continues to decline, the number of survey respondents identifying as home-base travel agents grew 50 percent between 2010 and 2012.
Fifty percent!! Wow. Now if only I could get my portfolio to grow at that rate.
(By the way, if anyone from what America’s favorite Grizzly Mom likes to call the “lamestream media” is reading this, this is where you got it all wrong in announcing the “death of the travel agent.” Travel agents aren’t going away, they’re just going home.)
But I digress. This story isn’t just about more agents, it’s about more agents making more money.
The same survey revealed that average annual revenue for home-based travel agents was $414,000. That’s average, which means that some were pulling in a lot more (and, of course, some were booking less). But that $400K+ annual figure represents an increase from $248,000 in 2007 and, like the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.
Gary Fee, President of the Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN), had a great observation on the survey:
[W]hen comparing the psychographics (the personality differences) between brick-and-mortar agents and home-based agents, the survey confirmed something I’ve believed for a long time: Traditional agents are “Seekers” (they’re unhappy about their career choice and they plan to leave the industry soon), while more home-based agents are “Careerists” (they believe they’ve made the right career choice and they expect their businesses to grow in the future).
I couldn’t agree more.
So I hope all home-based travel agents will take a moment to celebrate this achievement. The days when the industry could look askance at us are long over. Home-based travel agents have truly become the drivers of the travel distribution system.
And for those of you who are still thinking about becoming a home-based travel agent, what’s holding you back?