Are the big players interested in buying smaller agencies? Well, it depends on who you ask.
TORONTO — Becoming home based is now the norm for many Canadian travel agents, says a new survey, with over half of respondents making the leap in the last five years.
Commissioned in December by The Travel Agent Next Door, the independent survey of almost 200 Canadian hosted travel agents found that over 50% had become home based in the last five years, illustrating the phenomenal growth in this sector. Of those surveyed, nearly half said they were earning more now than when they worked in a brick-and-mortar agency.
Participating agents were affiliated with eight different host agencies; 12% chose not to divulge who they were associated with. A surprising 94% were primarily selling leisure travel, contrary to the popular belief that the travel agent is losing ground to customers booking direct online.
The survey also found that only 6% of respondents preferred a salary or salary & commission structure, and that 92% believe they have a better work-life balance since becoming home based. Of those surveyed, 25% of home-based agents are male, and 60% were experienced agents before going home based.
“This is just the beginning of really understanding hosted agents and their needs,” said Flemming Friisdahl, Founder, The Travel Agent Next Door. “We will continue to invest in third party independent surveys to understand this growing market and how best to serve them.”