A travel agency is a private retailer or a public service providing travel and tourism to the public for the benefit of providers and activities, airlines, car rental, cruise lines, hotels, railways, travel insurance and package travel services. In addition to dealing with regular tourists, most travel agencies have a separate department that focuses on making travel arrangements for business travelers; Some travel agencies are only specialized in business and business travel. There are also travel agencies that serve as general sales agents for foreign travel companies, allowing them to have offices in countries other than their head office.
+ Origin of the Travel journey
The modern travel agency first appeared in the second half of the 19th century with its roots in 1758 as Cox & Kings establishment Ltd. In 1970, Cox & Kings, the oldest travel company focused its attention on business travel and tourism. Recently, Thomas Cook set up a series of agencies in the last quarter of the 19th century, in collaboration with the Midland Railway. They not only sold their own tours to the public, but also represented other tourist companies. Other British travel agents for pioneers were Dean & Dawson, the Polytechnic Touring Association and the Co-operative Wholesale Society. The oldest travel agency in the United States is Brownell Travel; On July 4, 1887, Walter T. Brownell rode ten travelers on a European tour and departed from New York in the SS Devonia.
Travel agents became more in common with the development of commercial aviation, starting in the 1920s. Originally, travel agents largely catered to customers middle and upper class, but the post-war boom led to massive tour packages the proliferation of travel agencies in the main streets of most British cities, aimed at a manual laborer looking for a convenient way to book beach holidays abroad
The main function of a travel agency is to act as an agent and sell travel products and services on behalf of a provider. Consequently, unlike other retail companies have the available supplies, unless they have reserved hotel rooms and / or cabins on a cruise for an event group tours, such as a wedding, a honeymoon or a group event. A holiday package or ticket is not purchased from a supplier unless a customer requests that purchase. The holiday or ticket is provided to the agency at a discount. The advantage is therefore the difference between the advertised price paid by the customer and the reduced price at which the agent is delivered. This is known as the committee. In many countries, all people or companies selling tickets must have a permit for a travel agent.
In some countries, airlines have stopped issuing commissions to travel agencies. Therefore, travel agencies are now obliged to charge a percentage premium or a standard fixed rate per sale. However, some companies pay travel agencies a certain percentage for the sale of their products. Large tour companies can afford to do this because if they had to sell thousands of trips at a cheaper rate, would be even better than if they sell a hundred trips at a higher rate. This process benefits both parties. It is also cheaper to offer commissions to travel agents instead of participating in advertising and distribution campaigns without using agents.
Other commercial operations are carried out, especially by the larger chains. These may include internal sales insurance policies, travel guides and timetables of public transport, car rental currency exchange in place, dealing with the most popular holiday destinations currency.
It is assumed that a travel agent must provide impartial travel advice to the customer, coordinate the travel data and help the customer to book the journey. However, this function almost disappeared with the mass package travel market and a number of agency chains seemed to develop a concept “supermarket on holiday”, in which customers choose their holiday brochures on racks and then reserve at a counter. Again, a number of social and economic changes have brought this aspect back to the fore, especially with the arrival of multiple, simple and low-cost airlines.
Travel Agency Income
Traditionally, the main source of income for travel agents was, and still is, the booking with a rental car, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours, tour operators, etc. fees paid A fixed percentage of the main element of the prize is considered commission paid to the agent. Commissions may vary depending on the type of product and the provider. Commissions are not paid on the tax part of the prize. Travel agents also receive a variety of bonuses, benefits and other incentives related to travel and tourism as an incentive for travel agencies to promote their products businesses. The customer usually does not know how much the travel agency earns in commissions and other benefits. Other sources of income may include the sale of insurance, travel guides, public transport schemes and currency exchange.
Since 1995, many airlines around the world and most airlines in the United States do not pay any commission to travel agencies. In this case, a bureau adds service costs to the net price. The reduced commissions started in 1995 in the United States, with the introduction of a $ 50 limit on round trips and $ 25 in a single direction. In 1999, European airlines began to eliminate or reduce commissions, while Singapore Airlines did in some parts of Asia. In 2002, Delta Air Lines announced a base of zero commissions for EE. UU. And Canada; After a few months United Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways and American Trans Air did the same.
Most travel agents have felt the need to protect themselves and their customers against the possibility of a commercial error, either from themselves or from a supplier. They announced that they are covered, which means that in the event of a failure, customers are guaranteed to have lost an equally long vacation or if they prefer a refund. Many agencies and British and American tour operators are linked to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), for whom the issuance of airline tickets, Licensing Organizers Air Travel (ATOL) for those who purchase tickets and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) or the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), for those who sell holiday packages on behalf of a travel organization.
Types of Travel Agencies
There are three different types of agencies in the United Kingdom: multiples, multiples and independent agencies. Multiples consists of a number of national chains, often in the hands of international groups such as Thomson Holidays, now a subsidiary of TUI Group, the German multinational. Now it is common for large travel organizations to buy mass market a controlling interest in a chain of travel agencies to control the distribution of their products. (This is an example of vertical integration). Smaller chains are often based on certain regions or districts.
There are five different types of agencies in the United States: independents, hosts, franchises, consortia and mega bureaus. American Express and the American Automobile Association (AAA) are examples of mega travel agencies. Carlson Wagonlit Travel is an example of a consortium agency that consists of various types of specialized agencies. An example of an independent travel agency is one that starts with a sole proprietorship or a partnership between people who do not have business associations with competition agencies. Each type of travel agency has its pros and cons.
Independent agencies usually participate in a special or niche market because the needs of residents in a city or district high-end, or a certain group are interested in a similar activity, such as sporting events, including football, golf or tennis.
Travel agents choose between two approaches. One is the departing travel agency, traditional and with multiple destinations, based on the location of departure of the traveler; the other is the receptive travel agency focused on the destination, which is based on the destination and offers an experience at that location. Currently, the former is usually a larger operator, while the latter is usually a smaller, independent operator.
Airline intermediaries, tour operators and other travel agents and wholesalers are large volume sales companies specializing in sales to niche markets. They may or may not offer different types of services, in a single access point. These can be hotel reservations, flights or rental cars. Sometimes the services are combined in holiday packages, including transfers to the location and accommodation. These companies generally do not sell directly to the public, but act as wholesalers for retail travel agents. Usually, the sole purpose of the intermediaries is to sell to ethnic niches in the travel industry. Generally no consolidator offers everything; It is possible that they have only contracted rates for specific destinations. Nowadays there are no national consolidators, with a few exceptions for business class contracts.
Travel Agencies in the 21st Century
Since the mid-1990s, the general public has access to the internet, and many airlines and other travel organizations have started selling directly to passengers. As a result, airlines no longer had to pay commissions to travel agents for each ticket sold. Since 1997, travel agencies have been gradually, without mediation, due to the reduction of costs resulting from the removal of layers from the distribution of package holidays. However, travel agents remain dominant in some areas, such as cruise vacations where they represent 77% of reserves and 73% of package holidays.
In response, travel agents have developed their own presence on the internet by creating travel sites with detailed information and online booking options. Travel agents also use the services of the leading companies booking systems of the computer, also known as Global Distribution Systems (GDS), including Amadeus CRS, Galileo CRS, SABER and Worldspan, a subsidiary of Travelport, which they can offer you air tickets , car rental, hotels and other services related to travel booking and selling. Some online travel sites allow visitors to compare hotel rates and flights with multiple companies free of charge; they often allow visitors to classify the travel packages based on services, price and proximity to a city or reference point.
All travel sites that sell hotels online, together with GDS, suppliers and hotels, work directly on the inventory of search spaces. Once the travel site sells a hotel room, the site will try to get a confirmation for this hotel. Once confirmed or not, the customer is contacted with the result. This means that booking a hotel on a travel site does not necessarily result in immediate confirmation. Only a few hotels on a travel site can be confirmed immediately (which is usually indicated on each site as such). Because different travel sites work together with different providers, each site has different hotels that you can confirm immediately. Some examples of such online travel sites that sell hotel rooms are Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline.
Comparison sites, such as Kayak.com and TripAdvisor, search for the distributor’s sites in one go to save search time. None of these sites actually sell hotel rooms.
Often tour operators hotel contracts, contracts and agreements counter that allow instant confirmation of hotel rooms for holiday bookings.
The main service providers are those that actually produce the direct service, such as different hotel chains or airlines that have a website for online reservations.
Portals acts as a consolidator for various airlines and hotels on the internet. They work in a committee of these hotels and airlines. They often offer lower rates than the main service providers because these sites get huge offers from service providers.
A meta-search engine, on the other hand, simply scrape Internet data in real time for various searches and directs traffic to the major service providers online booking. These websites generally do not have their own booking module.[/vc_column_text][icon_list]
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A travel agency can work for a travel agency or work as a freelance.
With many people switching to self-service websites, the number of jobs available as travel agents is declining.
Since 1995, many travel agencies have left the industry, and relatively few young people have entered the field due to less competitive salary. However, others have left the agency “brick and mortar” for a home-based to reduce overhead businesses, and those who have survived have continued to promote other travel products such as cruise lines and train excursions, or to promote their ability to aggressively investigate and to assemble complex travel packages at any time, essentially act as an advanced concierge. In that sense, travel agencies can remain competitive if they are “travel advisors” with impeccable knowledge of destination regions and specialize in topics such as nautical and cultural tourism.
How to become a travel agent?
What kind of training is required to become a travel agent?
Many travel agencies learn at work, but some hospitality schools, career schools and community colleges offer training and certificates in tourism. These programs are often focused on business principles, such as sales and marketing, travel planning, airline and computer prices and travel planning. Students can also learn about specific travel destinations around the world.
On-the-job training primarily focuses on the computer systems used by travel agents to book airline and hotel packages.
Is there a certification or license requirement?
Most states do not require travel agents to have a permit or certificate, but some require travel agents to register in the state. This process usually involves filling out a form, paying a fee and receiving a registration number that agents must show at their workplace.
While it may not be necessary, many travel agents purchase insurance “errors and omissions”, a form of professional liability insurance that agents when customers are accused of making mistakes with their travel arrangements.
How long has it become to become a travel agent?
There are no industry standards for training and training of travel agents, so after high school you can start working in this area. Searching for a certificate or associate degree or tourism diploma before you are looking for a job can take one to four years.
What does a travel agent earn?
The median annual salary for travel agencies in the United States was $ 34,600 in 2012. The top 10 percent of earners in the field earned more than $ 57,400 and 10 percent lower earned less than $ 19,930 that year.
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has a salary tool on its website that gives them potential travel agents a better idea of payment you can expect to receive with different levels of experience and responsibility.
What are the chances of work?
73,300 people worked as travel agencies in 2012 and Office predicts Labor Statistics that this number will decrease by 12 percent between 2012 and 2020. Due to the increased services that allow people to find the lowest ticket prices plane and hotel reservations online It is expected that fewer people hire travel agents to plan their trips.
What are the long-term career opportunities for travel agencies?
Travel agents who are successful at an agency can take on management responsibilities and eventually stop selling. Successful agents can also start their own agencies.
How can I find a job as a travel agent?
If you want to work as a travel agent, you can apply for vacancies in travel agencies or start your own business. Independent travel agents can work from home or from the store’s location.
You can increase your chances of getting hired or achieve success by following independent studies in tourism and marketing and traveling and familiarize yourself with tourist destinations around the country and the world.
How can I get more information about how I can become a travel agent?
You can get more information about how you can become a travel agency through the American Society of Travel Agents. The ASTA website also provides information about learning materials for travel.[/vc_column_text][icon_list]
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