I have made the trip around the sun 57 times; and at this point, very few things shock me. I have made that same trip around the sun 21 times as a travel professional; and as in life, few things shock me. That is until I read the Travel Agent Income Report for 2019 from Host Agency Reviews.
Steph Lee, Mary Stein and the rest of the team do an outstanding job across the board. If you are with a host, or are considering a host—this is mandatory reading. If you are serious about travel—it’s still mandatory reading. Anyhow, I like things simple. I like books with short words, big fonts, and lot of images. So the Host Agency Reviews infographic was perfect for me. So what shocked me?
Where is the money?
Without the benefit of data, I would have figured that the moneymakers in the travel industry (and we are talking agents here not suppliers, etc.) would be New York, California, and maybe Texas and Illinois. And I would have been completely wrong!
Really? The Heartland? My shock continued as I noticed that the Mid-Atlantic (my market) is the lowest earning region. And that region includes DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, AND New York! Who would have thunk?
Where does the money come from?
5.2% of the average agent’s income comes from fees. LET ME REPEAT THAT A BIT LOUDER…. 5.2% OF THE AVERAGE AGENT’S INCOME COMES FROM FEES!!! When are we going to wake up? We have been preaching fees since the mid-1990s and after two decades, this industry is still heavily relying on commissions that can be reduced or snatched away at a moment’s notice. If you need to make a New Year’s resolution for 2020, I suggest it is to increase your fee revenue percentage and take control over your own income!
Who makes the money?
This was the biggest shocker for me. Travel is a female dominated industry. From the days when it was run by a “wife” to earn discounted travel to today, it is a female industry. And there are a ton of very strong and capable females working in the industry!
So why the wage gap? Women essentially invented this industry, they grew it, and continue to dominate it; so why are they earning 25% less than men in the same industry?
Check out this study and let me know your thoughts? As for me, I will be here scratching my head and waiting for the other surveys they produce!
All images © 2019 HostAgency Reviews