What are the top 3 things agents want in a host agency? Commission split/level, supplier relationships and reputation

What are the top 3 things agents want in a host agency? Commission split/level, supplier relationships and reputation

Anyone looking for predictors about Canada’s home-based retail industry can check out newly released research based on input from home-based agencies in the U.S.

The American Society of Travel Agents’ 2016 edition of its Independent Agents Report, based on second-half 2015 survey data from members of ASTA’s sister association the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA), offers insight into trends in the operations, host agency and franchise relationships, GDS usage, commission structures and sales and revenue data within the independent agents community.

“At 20,000 and growing, the independent agent community is a critical part of our industry and understanding how they run their businesses is top of mind for host agencies and suppliers alike,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA President & CEO. “This collaborative effort between ASTA’s Research Department and NACTA members will give industry stakeholders the tools they need to grow their businesses in our ever-changing industry.”

Key insights of the report include:

  • NACTA member agents pointed to commission split/level, supplier relationships and reputation as the top factors that go into choosing a host agency.
  • Among independent agents, direct GDS usage is rare. Rather, NACTA members primarily use supplier websites and phone calls to book travel for their clients.
  • Six in 10 NACTA member agents reported increased sales and revenues in 2015 compared to 2014, indicating improved business trends since 2011.
  • NACTA member agents, on average, possess 16 years of industry experience.
  • Over four in 10 independent agents (44%) are hiring either employees or engaging independent contractors to catch up with travel demand post-recession.

“As the independent agent community continues to grow, industry suppliers are allocating more resources trying to better engage these travel sellers,” said Ann Chamberlin, NACTA President and ASTA Senior Vice President, Operations. “Whether you are a host agency owner, full service travel agency, independent consultant or a supplier, you will find in this report invaluable data and survey results to help you with your day-to-day decision making.”

The 47-page report is available for purchase at ASTA.org/ResearchReports.

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