Becoming an independent travel agent looks to be a more promising career to a lot of people nowadays. This is not surprising considering that starting such a career is possible even when one is just working from home. And with the popularity of travel sites and social networks, those who have the passion for travel and networking with people can easily market their services and meet more clients.
Many travel agents today find the online world challenging and exciting. And yes, even amid the tough competition you can enjoy a lucrative career as a travel agent once you have the skills and expertise. Being passionate about travel is not always enough to ensure success in the industry. Rather, you need to increase your knowledge and your network, and employ the right marketing techniques to win more clients.
So how do you get started? It is essential to establish a good business network. You can start with the circle of relationships you’ve already got, including your family, friends and former co-workers. You can offer to do the booking for them (such as for family gatherings and group outings), and by then you’ll start talking to hotels, airlines, resorts, etc. If you manage to do it well initially you will eventually get a lot of referrals, which is important to your success.
By working hard as a homebased travel agent, you will earn travel discounts for services like accommodation, car rental and package tours. But while you can work at your own schedule you must set and adhere to certain number of hours for work, unless you want to offer unrestricted work hours as an extra benefit to your clients.
You must also consider targeting a particular niche. For example, being a business travel agent enables you to cater to companies and business people who usually travel locally or abroad. If you’re a beginner you can find a host corporate travel agency. Just bear in mind that before signing on with a corporate travel company, you should ask every detail you need to know, like the compensation you’ll get as a travel agent and the costs you will be responsible for.