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How to become a travel agent for host agencies

Updated April 17, 2017

Working in the travel industry requires organizational, people and some creative skills, but when working with a host agency business skills will also be necessary. Depending on the host agency, the work arrangement will vary.

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  1. Finding a host travel agency is the first step in this career. Depending on the career desired, you can work for a stand-alone agency that employs agents on a freelance basis or a direct sales-based agency. Working on a freelance basis will require you to have a small office set-up, while a home-based company may offer a simple system that is Internet-based.

  2. In some cases, when already employed with an agency, personnel may allow you to work from home, creating a host agency situation whether local or remote from another city.

  3. Research agencies. Finding host agencies is not difficult using web searches however choosing one can be difficult. Be sure to review the website and find out if host agencies charge a fee for their booking system or website, how much commissions are paid, what support materials are provided, when and how they pay, and any other questions that you want answered.

  4. Check the host travel agencies credentials with Better Business Bureaus and online and what it will take to get your IATA and CLIA number. Some agencies may require a year of bookings before you earn your credentials, however most states don't require the licensing and the host agency allows you to book utilising their numbers.

  5. Call the agencies that you select and view their online webinars and presentations. Get all the facts and your questions answered. This will be a home-based business and you will have costs to start. Some agencies are willing to assist in these costs, while other will require them to be taken on by the person becoming a host for their agency.

  6. Prepare a list of costs for each agency that you are considering and create a pro and con list to assist in your decision.

  7. When you have decided on the agency for you, sign up with the agency and personnel will begin giving you information needed to start the booking process. Start advertising your new business as soon as possible and be sure to read all of the documentation and learning tools given to you by your new host travel agency to get started out on the right foot.

  8. Tip

    Treat your at home job like a new business


    Be sure that costs don't outweigh the benefits of the agency. Be sure to review all clauses in case the host travel agency is not the right fit. Watch out for home-based scams offering discount and agent cards up front.

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About the Author

Charline King is a corporate travel coordinator for a health care facility. She has more than 10 years of experience in marketing, event planning, travel coordination, and public relations. She currently publishes on eHow, Examiner.com and writes five blogs. King attend Minnesota State University Moorhead and has a degree in mass communications.

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