AmericanTours International’s (ATI) Drive America customizable road trip packages make it easy for travel agents to set up, save clients money (compared to booking it on their own online), and generate commissions on a $3,000 couple booking and up to $10,000 or more for a small or multi-generation family. ATI support team knows about the ins and outs of traveling within your destinations and is always available to help you. Read the rest of this entry »
Start with travel advisors who are desperate for cash flow. Add suppliers who need a healthy distribution channel to calm wary travelers. Muddy the waters with commission recalls of $50,000 or more. And suddenly, the industry is abuzz with talk about paying travel agencies their commissions earlier in the cycle.
This being 2020, it’s no surprise that just as some applaud the idea, others call it a huge mistake. But in the space between, suppliers and advisors are Zooming about ways to make their payment policies fit the new reality.
“We’ve never had a program that pays advance commissions to travel advisors until now,” says Stephanie Mirando at Collette, which last week guaranteed $100 to $200 in commission on every reservation booked in 2021 for travel starting after May 1. Like a fee for service, advisors can keep it even if the trip is canceled. Read the rest of this entry »
You heard me right. It is okay to fail.
I’m not suggesting that you commit flagrant fouls. I’m simply asking you to allow yourself to experiment and make mistakes that come with trying to stretch beyond your current comfort zone. Mistakes are visible signs that you are trying to do something new. Here is a corollary:
Allowing yourself to make mistakes will actually make you and your life more interesting. The words “mistake” and “boring” do not work well together. Mistakes are never boring. Read the rest of this entry »
It cannot be said enough—you need to make sure you are insured! You would not drive a car without insurance. Hopefully you are able to afford health insurance. And you better make sure you have business insurance as well as a separate errors and omissions policy. Why? Well that can be told in two simple words… Read the rest of this entry »
I’m doing something a little unusual for this TRO installment! In order to maintain privacy, I’m answering a question without providing the specific exchange. Over the past two weeks, several travel advisors reached out to me to let me know that their host are not paying their commissions (sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars). Read the rest of this entry »
When you first decided to enter the whacky world of travel, it probably was because you had a passion for the industry. You truly believed you could help people enjoy their time off while maximizing the experience. You only had good intentions…back then. And then, like a un-forecasted hurricane, reality entered the picture and started screwing things up.
If this wasn’t bad enough, you started to slow down and your future started to be questioned. In short, you lost your mojo. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m so grateful for your website. I’m 2.5 yrs into my (currently) Part-time career in travel. I need to change host agencies and am having trouble sorting through who is great at paying the highest commissions to part time ICs. Do you have any suggestions on where or how to search this?
Travel Agent Matthew Exline shares one of his client stories for this week’s Travel Agent Diaries entry.
I have a story I would like to share about how I was able to save a client’s trip, and ensure that he reached his destination safely and on time.
The client, whom I will call “Joe,” was traveling to an extremely remote and dangerous area of a Southeast Asian country on a humanitarian mission. The stakes were high due to major security concerns, and it was extremely important for Joe to arrive at his destination on time in order to carry out his mission. I was responsible for arranging his complex air itinerary from Florida to a tiny obscure airport in this remote area.
With the Wave Season just around the corner, here are a few suggestions for pre or post cruise extensions that will increase the profit from Southampton, Dover or Harwich arriving/departing cruises you may be arranging for your clients.
The first and second timers among them will want to spend more time discovering London, but there will be plenty of others for whom a few days in the English countryside will be of real interest. Invest some time in creating a list of anglophile customers and having sold them the cruise that ticks all their boxes, increase your profits by offering them a tailor made add on that achieves the same result.
Let’s state definitively we are all the owners of our own brand, our own “company” called “me, myself and I”. This was the insight of Tom Peter’s famous 1997 article “The Brand Called You.” The success of social media platforms like Linkedin was largely presaged by the notion of the individual as a brand. With that in mind, we need to consider how we promote and monitor our individual brands. Read the rest of this entry »
“Empowerment is just another flavor of the month.”
The 3 Keys to Empowerment by Ken Blanchard, John P. Carlos, and Alan Randolph
Wrong! Empowerment is not a passing fad. It is a skill you must develop if you are to succeed in business and in life.
“Enabling” and “permission” are two words that come to mind when I think about empowerment. I suppose regardless of whether you are a member of a team or are a solopreneur, these two words come into play on a regular basis. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you know you can get commission on cruise line excursions under some very specific circumstances? Don’t get too excited yet. Not all cruise lines are doing this, and this does not apply to individual reservations. However, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises do pay commission (they call it a referral program) on excursions booked by passengers sailing within a group.
How it Works
The biggest requirement is that the group must have a minimum of 16 passengers in 8 staterooms sailing. If the group falls below that number before sailing, the commission evaporates. Read the rest of this entry »
“People perform at their best when contributing their talents to something they believe in.”
Even Eagles Need A Push by David McNally, page 95
Chapter 5: Defining Your Mission
There are three questions that need addressing if you are going to reach the top of your game.
(1) What is it you do?
(2) How do you do what you do?
(3) Why do you do what you do? Read the rest of this entry »
Venere.com found inspiration for its name from Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, his 15th century painting depicting the Roman goddess, Venus, emerging from the sea on a giant clamshell. Originally, Venere was launched as a resource for Italians looking to go on a romantic getaway. After its launch in 1995, Venere.com was on a fast track to provide travelers and travel agents with booking options throughout Italy, Europe, the US, and the world. Read the rest of this entry »
The short answer to that question is: maybe. Of course it could also be, maybe not. In a recent trade event onboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, the topic came up in a Q&A with Michael Bayley, President & CEO of Royal Caribbean International, and Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support and Service. Bayley was noticeably stunned at the results when he asked agents to raise their hands if they sold third party shore excursions. A majority of the agents in the room raised their hands. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have been reading The 365 Guide for any length of time, you know that I feel the concept of a Mission Statement is important for a travel agent to understand and employ. A mission statement is a clear and succinct statement of the aspirations of a travel agent as those aspirations relate to clients. Underneath the mission statement is a set of core values that are important to the agent. The moral and ethical underpinnings of the agent, their way of relating to clients, their expectations of performance are all encapsulated in a single statement. It’s a statement to the world of the principles for which the travel agent stands. Below, you will find tools to help you build your own. Bonus -it will be the foundation for your 2014 marketing plan.
If you have been reading The 365 Guide for any length of time, you know that I feel the concept of a Mission Statement is important for a travel agent to understand and employ. A mission statement is a clear and succinct statement of the aspirations of a travel agent as those aspirations relate to clients. Underneath the mission statement is a set of core values that are important to the agent. The moral and ethical underpinnings of the agent, their way of relating to clients, their expectations of performance are all encapsulated in a single statement. It’s a statement to the world of the principles for which the travel agent stands. Below, you will find tools to help you build your own. Bonus -it will be the foundation for your 2014 marketing plan. Read the rest of this entry »
Travel agents can surround themselves with all of the accoutrements of a travel planning practice, with plenty of supplier product and subscriptions to periodicals, memberships in consortia and posters on the wall. But unless a travel consultant also develops a solid sense of their own brand, they will forever struggle to market themselves appropriately.
Every travel agent needs a unique selling point (USP) that differentiates them from the competition. The unique selling point may be the agent’s familiarity with a destination or a theme, it could be the agents’ contacts, tenacity, enthusiasm or passion. The travel agent’s USP might be some business practice that in some way ensures the success of their travel planning activities for clients. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I was asked to preview a consumer focused travel guide that is being published by National Geographic next year. One of the chapters was centered on travel agents and travel advisors. The “agent” definition is all inclusive—real people and online; the term “advisor” is reserved for real people with specialties and expertise—make sense to me!
Part of the chapter suggested that consumers that are working with an online agency should compare the pricing on several sites because it is suspected that companies can (and do) influence pricing based on past Internet behavior. For example, if you are browsing online at the Dollar Store and your neighbor is browsing at Neiman Marcus; and you both go to the same travel site, your neighbor’s price for the same trip as yours might be more expensive based on the assumption made from a Neiman Marcus cookie left on your computer. In the retail world, this is just pricing a product to what the market will bear. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s a common sight: message board posts from agents asking for a referral to a company that provides a service their clients need, plus the tagline, “that pays commission.”
If one were to examine carefully the history of the travel industry in America, the commission-based model didn’t exist eighty years ago. Sellers of travel were paid fees by the customer for making the arrangements. Eventually, suppliers started offering a commission on the sale to travel agents as an incentive to sell their products. Fees paid by the client fell by the wayside, and travel agents became agents of the supplier more than a consultant for the client.
Read the rest of this entry »
Vacation Express, which bills itself as a “Boutique Tour Operator”, offers some of the most lucrative travel agent bonuses in the business. Due to the clear popularity of the program in 2010, Vacation Express has made the decision to offer the Commission Stimulus Program again for summer 2011.