The pandemic has changed many ways in which travel advisors do business. One is that a large number are choosing to join host agencies for the protection, support and comfort of an umbrella organization.
Host agency Travel Experts has seen its numbers swell with the addition of 106 advisors over the past two years, including 66 ICs added in 2021 following a growth of 40 ICs in 2020.
"Many of these retailers have found the comfort of a host agency to be a deterrent against the difficulties of the new normal in the travel industry," said Sharon Fake, Director of Operations for Travel Experts. "Most of the growth in the past two years during the pandemic has come from word-of-mouth referrals as independent consultants look for answers to the chaotic landscape that is the travel industry today," Fake added.
The company has also added five staff members to assist in the expanding operation with accounting, Sabre support and a new IC Interface to foster greater communications with the advisors.
"I am very proud of our employees who set such a great example of conscientious quality service as they provide daily support to the member advisors," said Susan Ferrell, Founder and President of Travel Experts.
"After 33 years, we are pleased that we are still recognized as one of the premier host agencies and continue to grow," Ferrell added.
Travel advisors noted that there are a number of benefits with Travel Experts that include:
-Agents keep 100percent of all commissions (Including air, tour, cruise, car and hotels)
-Flat fee of $550.00 per person per month
-No start-up fee
-Month to month contract
-Access to Virtuoso including personalized marketing materials
-Sabre software: Agents can issue their own tickets 24/7 or choose "Air By TE" to have an air team member do the ticketing using one of the many air contracts available
-Dedicated support staff
Julie Mitchell, Design Travel by Julie, Rogers, Arkansas, chose to join Travel Experts.
"I have several acquaintances that are Independent Travel Consultants working with Travel Experts and they highly recommended them-and the 100 percent commission was very enticing. I'm so happy with my decision to join Travel Experts. I question why didn't I do this years ago? The staff is attentive and the response time is unbelievable. Everyone is so helpful," she shared.
Elizabeth Squillante of Springboard Travel, New Canaan, Connecticut, said she joined because of the resources they offer.
"Catering specifically to Independent Contractors, everything is digitalized and easy to access at any hour of the day/night. I also took into account the large network of advisors. Not only does this mean up to date feedback from travelers, but also exponential buying power with our most valuable suppliers," said Squillante.
Barbara Caracciola of Boca Raton, Florida noted the importance of finding the right fit.
"I had heard of Travel Experts and when I decided to leave the agency I was with, I investigated Travel Experts as well as others," said Caracciola. "Based on their reputation I made a call to Susan Ferrell. After speaking with her I knew that it would be the right fit for me and my business. After meeting with them, I came away with a wealth of information and connections."
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