I am interested and have been considering this career for the past few years.
Wondering if you have a recommendation of a host agency that would better cater to the Family Adventure Travel niche? This is where my passion is, and I would really like to find a company that can foster and mentor me in this startup.
Hey Madeline! Thanks for reaching out!
While it’s tough for us to recommend a host agency, we touched a little bit on adventure/sustainable travel niches on TRO last month, and I’d like to elaborate here with your question because I do have a few more tricks up my sleeve in that department!
The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), a global leader when it comes to adventure and sustainable travel, is an invaluable resource for travel agents who want to focus on selling that kind of travel. Plus, I personally think they’re a fun bunch––what other conferences include immersive experiences that include hiking, biking, trekking over glaciers and climbing into canyons?
As a burgeoning adventure travel specialist, when you’re narrowing down your host agency options one of the questions you can ask your host is what kind of relationship they have with the ATTA. Are they affiliated? Does their host education program include opportunities to enhance your learning about adventure travel? Travel Leaders Network (TLN) is just one example of a host agency group that has close ties with ATTA (and many host agencies may fall under the TLN umbrella––extending their relationship with the ATTA to individual hosts).
The ATTA site is also a great resource to begin researching what adventure tour operators align more specifically with your niche. For example, in addition to family adventure travel, you might begin by focusing on a continent or region to help further define your niche.
We’ve mentioned the example in a past TRO article that you can start by looking at larger adventure tour operators such as G Adventures and Intrepid Travel. But to expand your list, you can check out ATTA’s list of adventure tour operators and further narrow it down by type of activity and region. From there, you can make a shortlist of some vendors you’d be interested in working with in the future, asking hosts what kind of relationships they have established with those vendors as well.
If the vendors operate on a smaller scale, it’s unlikely they will be a preferred supplier with any host agency (you can read more on preferred suppliers here). But many hosts are open to adding vendors to their list, or if it’s a boutique supplier you can always establish your own relationship with that vendor and book outside your host agency.
This will hopefully go a long way in finding a great host agency for you!
Happy adventuring, Madeline!
Mary Stein joined Host Agency Reviews in 2016 as its editor. She’s passionate about supporting aspiring travel agents to turn their dreams into their livelihood.
A writer by trade, she can be found working on her novel and teaching creative writing workshops when she’s not tooling around on Host Agency Reviews writing articles and newsletters.
She has received awards for her writing from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation and the Loft Literary Center. She lives in Minneapolis, and loves hiking, camping, and traveling (of course!).