Independent Contractors Are The New Travel Agents

independent contractors sell

Independent contractors (a.k.a. home-based travel agents) continue to gain ground in the travel agent community.

That’s the good word from an interview with Diane Petras, president of The Travel Institute. It seems The Travel Institute conducted a study:

According to “The Changing Face of Travel Agents,” conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 29, 2017, 62 percent of agents last year worked primarily as independent contractors, or ICs, compared to 71 percent working primarily as employees in 2009.

That’s an astonishing turnaround and it just confirms what I’ve been saying for years. Home-based travel agents, who are by definition independent contractors, are the fasting growing segment of the travel distribution system.

Independent contractors are business people, their own bosses. That means they “have to learn the industry, the terminology and geography . . . Then they need to learn how to market their expertise, niche and value. This is all part of owning your own business.”

Exactly! That is why the Home-Based Travel Success Course concentrates on the crucial aspects of the business that host agencies have no burning desire to teach — how to be your own boss, how to operate in your own best interest, how to be truly independent contractors.

Why travel attracts independent contractors?

Petras points out that there is now a much greater awareness of what I like to call the Home-Based Travel Revolution, and the ease of entry into the profession that it provides. I’d like to take a wee bit of the credit for that. She goes on to say that independent contractors …

… are much more likely to be part-timers who are pursuing a new career in travel, with 36 percent working 20 hours per week or less compared to 8 percent of employees.

 

Petras said this can be credited to the flexibility the role offers: “Some are changing careers and keeping their existing job while testing the waters in travel. Others are retired and want supplemental income. And, some are in a dual-income household and need extra cash from a job that allows them to work from home with flexible hours. Salaried positions in other industries may not offer greater compensation with flexible hours, and the work may not be nearly as interesting.”

True that!

Independent contractors need independent training

My mantra has long been “I do not sell a business opportunity. That is why I am free to teach you how the business really works.”

As independent contractors, home-based agents need to understand at a gut level that their interests and the interests of their host agency (if they use one) are not the same. They certainly overlap but they are quite different in important respects.

The crucial difference can be boiled down to the “independent” in independent contractor. This is a point I stress over and over.

In addition, far too many home-based travel agents come to think of themselves (subconsciously at least) as employees of their host. I can assure you that the host does not feel the same way.

Fortunately, with the right training, you will not fall into this trap.

The article with the interview of Diane Petras concludes “For ICs [independent contractors] looking to build their business, Petras recommends always taking advantage of training opportunities.”

So in conclusion, make Diane happy and click here.

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Independent Contractors Are The New Travel Agents was last modified: May 22nd, 2018 by Kelly Monaghan