Independent Travel Professional

OSSN, CCRA study shows preference for Independent Travel Professional title

FORT WORTH — As the industry grows and gains recognition many agents are saying they would like to drop the ‘home-based’ label for a title that better reflects their professionalism.

A recent survey conducted by CCRA and the Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN) shows that a majority of respondents prefer the title ‘Independent Travel Professional’.

The survey was distributed to both CCRA registered agents and OSSN members who were asked to rate five professional job titles based on their personal preferences. Some 32% of respondents chose Independent Travel Professional. ‘Other’ got 25% of the total votes. ‘Travel Agent’ received 20% of the votes, while ‘Home Based Travel Agent’ got 10% and Independent Travel Agent, 8%. Five percent gave no response.

The survey also requested that travel agents separately rate how they felt about the commonly used term ‘home-based agent’. Some 40% said they felt that there was a better term to describe their employment. Nineteen percent said they were indifferent to the term, 17% said they ‘liked’ it because it has been around for a long time whereas 12% ‘hated’ it and felt that the term carried negative misperceptions.

“Since CCRA acquired OSSN earlier this year, the premier association for travel professionals who work outside of a traditional agency setting, we have been working hand-in-hand with Gary Fee, President of OSSN, to gain further insight into the changing needs of this growing segment of travel planning professionals,” said Dic Marxen, President and CEO of CCRA.

“We were delightfully surprised by the results and wanted to share this information with the travel industry, so that travel agents who work remotely may be more appropriately identified as independent travel professionals and recognized for the diverse range of offerings and services that they provide.”

Added Gary Fee, President of OSSN, “this survey has vast implications for the travel industry as a whole, and has provided OSSN with extremely useful information for how we can better support our independent travel professional members moving forward.

“The term ‘home-based agent’ has long represented travel agents who work from a home office or outside a traditional travel agency but, as our survey results revealed, this term is outdated. It does not adequately reflect the technology advances that have led to today’s changing workplace dynamics including the ‘non-traditional’ workplace settings that many companies, including travel agencies, are adopting. Working remotely has become commonplace and we look forward to continuing to support this growing segment of professional travel advisors.”