By Emily Peters
It’s early 2017, but we’re well into the age of the Gig Economy and rise of the home based business. Host agencies like Montrose Travel have been around for decades, helping anyone who has the chutzpah to say goodbye to traditional employment and start a home based travel agency. So why are people still struggling with the idea?
The beauty of this era is that having a side-business is no longer uncommon. The next step? Unraveling myths regarding the demise of travel agents and the “kitchen-table Mabel” imagery of home-based agents. Let’s debunk three of these myths, shall we?
Myth #1: Travel Agents Are Extinct.
Myth, Debunked: After 9/11, fear of terrorism and other issues took a ravenous bite out of the travel agent community. Combined with the steady decline in airline commissions and the rise of the internet and you have a whole lot of travel agencies gasping for air.
Yet contrary to popular belief, they didn’t disappear. Though many agents closed their doors, others tightened their belts, moved their offices home, and blazed a trail for the modern travel agency. These storefront-turned-home based agents built businesses which thrived on customized travel experiences, fee-based models and deep support from reputable host agencies like MTravel.
Now, these home based warriors represent the fastest-growing segment of the agent industry. They’ve also have contributed to the industry’s overall growth—one that continues to expand despite the decline of other sectors.
Myth #2: Only old people use travel agents.
Myth, Debunked: Yes, perhaps Grandpa liked to do business with his travel agent because he trusted working with someone one-on-one. These days, there’s still a reason why modern travel technology works best with old-school, relationship-based service: it yields the best results.
While older generations prefer to book travel with humans rather than rely on Internet advice alone, statistics show that Millennials are even more likely to use use a travel professional than any other demographic. Equally promising, Millennials have proven to demonstrate more brand loyalty than their parents and grandparents. That’s a great sign for an industry which relies on repeat clientele. Finally, with Millennial entrepreneurs starting businesses younger than ever AND driving the gig economy, they’re no strangers to working from home themselves—making them amenable to giving their business to others in similar positions.
So yeah. Don’t diss Grandpa’s penchant for travel agents—because it looks like he was ahead of his time.
Myth #3: Home based travel agents can’t do what storefront agents can.
Myth, Debunked: Travel agent, travel advisor, travel professional. Whatever the label, their expertise should not be defined by whether they work from a coffee shop or a storefront agency.
With the ever-widening services and support from host agencies, home based agents can delve into virtually any niche, from romance to leisure to groups to corporate. Moreover, they have the same access to GDS platforms, hi-tech marketing and back-office programs, incredible preferred supplier products, special upgrades, discounts and add-ons from consortia partnerships.
To top it off, home based travel agents enjoy the support of both their host agency and the entire home based agent community—all with the freedom to grow their business (and spoil their clients) as they see fit.
Home based travel agents aren’t the poor man’s traditional agent—they’re lean, mean, myth-debunking machines. And that’s a role that deserves the respect, not disdain, of the travel industry and travelers alike.
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.