How To Evaluate A Host Travel Agency
Like many people, you may be embarking on a thorough search for the right host travel agency. We applaud your efforts. And, also like many people, you may be at the stage of becoming thoroughly confused and unable to distinguish one host travel agency from the next.
Here is a synopsis of some of the more important intangible characteristics to consider when selecting a host travel agency:
- Stability - Is the host profitable, stable and in it for the long haul?
- Reputation, clout, relationships with suppliers
- Size and buying power = higher commissions for you
- Does the host care about and support you and your business?
- Does the host’s product mix match your needs – leisure, corporate, group
- Is the host ARC appointed so you can book/sell airfare to your customers?
- Alignment of preferred suppliers vs. your needs
- Abilities of staff – will you be working with capable people? Are they responsive to your needs?
- Ongoing training with suppliers, destinations, business tools, etc.
Track record for paying commissions accurately and on time
- Do they offer you the technology you need to operate your business such as websites, booking tools, CRM, access to subscription based travel tools
- Do they offer you marketing tools and programs?
- Will they actively get involved with and help with booking problems when they occur?
- Do they provide unlimited business coaching whether you’re a novice learning to make your first booking or a seasoned veteran with questions about business strategy
To properly evaluate a host travel agency, it’s far beyond cost and commission split. It’s more than transaction processing. It’s a much more complex decision that requires peeking under the covers to get the full story about the host. Do an initial review of their website, call them and ask questions (especially about information not found on their site), ask for references, check the Better Business Bureau. Even Google them.
Remember, selecting a compatible host is much like a marriage. You should take a long term approach and feel completely comfortable with your decision with your new business partner.