The Case for Joining a Host Agency

The travel industry has been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, and travel advisors have been particularly affected as many clients have put vacations on hold or canceled them completely.

One resource that has been helpful for many travel advisors is their host agency and Travel Experts’ Susan Ferrell is making the case for independent travel advisors, who have not yet joined a host agency, to find one.

“We urge those independent travel counselors to take a serious look at joining a host agency to help them navigate the troubled waters we are all swimming in right now,” said Ferrell.

She highlights how the concept has assisted many travel advisors as the industry consolidated.

“I’m not saying that you must join Travel Experts, but travel advisors would be well advised to look at the host agency network and find the best firm suited to their needs,” she said. “The host agency concept evolved to help the independent travel advisors succeed during the consolidation of brick and mortar travel agencies that began in the 1980s. Travel agents that wanted to save costs and close their brick and mortar stores found that joining a host agency provided them with a comfortable home with which to promote and sell travel to their client base without losing their identity.”

She also noted that travel advisors don’t have to lose their independent status by joining a host agency and pointed out how they can be of assistance.

“Independent travel advisors who are struggling to keep their commissions and earn the revenue they were used to earning can, with the right host agency, find an alternative that helps them rise above other travel counselors and often earn more money. And they don’t have to lose their independence if they link with the right host agency.”

Travel Experts was founded by Ferrell in 1989 and is made up of all independent travel advisors who work from home. Today, the agency is nearly 500 advisors strong.

“We specialize in support of our member Independent Contractors (ICs) and strongly believe that we do it right,” she said. “We feel our program is the best in the business for the mid- to high-volume agent who wants to be independent.”

Travel Experts’ advisors pay a single monthly management fee and retain 100 percent of their commissions and service fees, and the host agency is a member of Virtuoso, which provides another layer of benefits for advisors.

“We’re fortunate to have a world of resources at our fingertips, thanks in large part to our partnership with Virtuoso,” said Ferrell, adding: “Through Virtuoso, we are able to offer our travel advisor’s clients the kind of exclusive amenities, upgrades, access and experiences that cannot be found anywhere else.”

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