Evidence of the latest threat to the Canadian retail travel sector is probably right in your own wallet. It’s your Costco membership card.
Nine out of 10 home-based agents believe they have a better work life balance than when they worked in an agency. The statistic is just one of many new insights into home-based agents in the second annual independent nationwide survey of Canadian hosted travel agents, conducted over the month of January.
The sampling this year tripled in response size to over 500, adding additional credibility to the findings. It is estimated that over 35% of travel agents in Canada are now independent, home based contractors.
The Travel Agent Next Door funded the research that was conducted by an independent consulting firm, and is sharing the results with the industry.
A startling 91.9% of agents who moved over to become home-based agents said they were happier than when they worked in an agency.
The agents also reported a better quality of life, with various reasons cited, including more time to travel and more time with family, the ability to work from anywhere, plus the ability to ‘be my own boss’.
The survey reveals that 52% of the home based agents who responded have only ever worked as a home based agent, which suggests that home-based agents have been around for longer than is commonly thought.
However, the statistic also reflects the growing number of new people coming into the industry as hosted agents working from home after taking their training.
The survey also reveals that 87.3% of agents who responded are over 40, and 28.5% are over 60, and most of this group worked for many years in an agency or call centre, which confirms that many home-based agents are highly experienced and are converting to home-based later in their careers.
When asked what services are the most important in a host agency, agents cited customized websites, the ability to work with management, the level of support and the ability to network with other agents.
Just over 45% of hosted agents said they are ‘very to extremely ‘happy with their host agency, however 12 % said they were ‘unhappy to very unhappy’.
The Travel Agent Next Door will feature further findings from the survey in this space next month.