Is the smaller travel agency an endangered species?

Is the smaller travel agency an endangered species?

Much has been written about the survival of the smaller, independent travel agency in today’s environment. The industry has seen lots of consolidation over the past decade or two.

First, the tour operators started buying travel agencies, followed by larger travel agencies buying lots of smaller ones. Yet there are still plenty of small to mid-sized agencies out there. So how do they survive?

There are a few strategies for survival in an industry populated with vertically integrated giants, OTAs and huge retail conglomerates. One of them is to get out from under the crippling costs and workload of operating your own business.

These hard working independent agencies are subject to most of the hard costs that the much larger agencies face. So it’s no wonder that many agency owners have just given up and sold when they got the chance.

Selling is not your only option…

But there is an alternative to selling out. Much in the same way that home-based agents rely on their host agency to take care of the many costs associated with running a business, now smaller agencies are realizing that they too can take advantage of a similar program supporting small to mid-size agencies.

Imagine no longer having to pay your own registration fees and association fees, your own errors & omissions insurance costs, your telephone system costs, your accounting costs, your website. Add this up in dollars and you’ll find it is a substantial amount annually.

And imagine the time you’d save if you didn’t have to attend to all the administrative tasks devoted to all of those activities.

And think of all the time you’d then have to focus on selling travel. And meanwhile you can retain your agency’s identity if you choose to.

As well, you become part of a community of agents so that when you need support, advice or information, you’ve got it.

Most of us work in travel because we love it. There are solutions for staying in this industry we love and escaping some of the onerous costs and tasks that come with running your own business. Be sure to look at all options for survival.

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