Home-based Travel Agency

Simple Tips to open your Online Travel Agency

Not so long ago, Travelling used to be for leisure activities or spending quality time with your loved ones. In this era, travelling has become a part of life. Travelling majorly means business trips and taking a break from a hectic schedule. Though bookings can be done online on your own with less hassle, people still tend to rely on travel agents when it comes to knotty multi city bookings and procedures for visa.

Why should you choose Travel industry online?

The Travel industry is one of the best industries to work with and work for. Travel industry represents 1 in every 10 jobs. It’s one industry where you would require working online and still make same profits as a shop based travel agent would. The best part of online travel agency is that you can work full-time or part-time, whatever suits your convenience. Managing online travel agency can be gratifying only when you know what you are doing.

What do Online Travel Agents do?

The basic job of any online travel agent would be to give out information on flights, accommodations, car rentals and much more.

To start with, the first purpose of any online travel agency would be booking flights. Tourists mainly take help of online travel agencies to search for cheapest flights. The better the discount the more you make profits. There are thousands of online travel agencies who claim they are the best in market giving the most discounts. An online travel agent would need to make a strategy to gain popularity. Once people know your brand it becomes easier for you to sell.

Next would be Accommodation. If people are travelling to a different city/state/country, they are bound to stay at some place. Not all of them have friends and relatives at all places. So here arises the need for hotels. Partner up with as many hotels worldwide and start creating the most beneficial packages. There are many Hotel and Package Reservations agencies online that provide benefits like access to worldwide hotel distribution network, discounts starting from 50% to 80%, priority bookings for online travel agents, guaranteed commissions, flexible payment terms, discounts on group bookings and etc.

Transport is the next important thing on an online travel agency’s list. Taking care of car rentals, bus bookings and train bookings is the primary job. Airport transfers should also be considered.

Advise on weather conditions, clothes to carry, must-watch places, shopping places, restaurants, tourist attractions, time differences can be kept on the website so that it becomes easier for customers to find everything under one roof.

Also providing information on mandatory documents, custom regulations and currency exchange rates, if visiting a different country, will make things easier for customers.

One thing that can’t be left out is Travel Insurance. Customers do not have much understanding of this type of insurance. It’s a travel agents duty to give out as much information as required to the customers. Making them aware of the unforeseen events and how travel insurance helps is the key role. Travel insurance will cover any medical emergencies, theft/loss of money or passports, any nature acts or terrorism and flight cancellations.

Do you need a License to start your own online travel agency?

Now comes the most interesting part. Well it’s beyond belief for many to know that Online Travel Agency does not require any license or certification. However there are always country wise regulations that ought to be followed. In India, you need to have business licenses required by the Government.

Do you need to have a Host Agency?

You can work independently or work for any big agency. The agency that you would work for is called the Host Agency. Any host agency would charge a percentage of commission from the sales generated. Some host agencies can charge a flat fee. You can decide whether you need a host agency by taking into consideration the factors like the investment, business plan, time you intend to give to your work and more so the Liabilities.

To conclude with, Online Travel Agency is one business where you can work without having an actual office. All you need is in-depth knowledge of what you are selling. As an online travel agent you will deal with customers mostly over the phone and through email. So you need to be a really good communicator.

Also if you wish to start your own online travel agency and still don’t know how to go for it, you can take help of online business consultants. I would recommend in-thebox.co.uk. They have the ability to understand your business the way no one else can.

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Comments 5 comments

Jyoti Patil profile image

Jyoti Patil 5 years ago from Mumbai Author

Well I think setting up a strategy and following the Business Plan can change a lot. Initially you should be ready to face any problems coming your way but do not give up. Profits will definitely come your way.

danielleantosz profile image

danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida

I agree with Brett, there is a lot of competition! Great advice.

VENZKHVAM profile image

VENZKHVAM 5 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

It is a new information that online travel agency doesnot need any liscence to open. your hub has given pretty good information regarding this. voted up

Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

It is a profitable area, but there is also a lot of competition!!! It will take a lot of work to build up traffic. However, if your expectations are realistic and you get affordable hosting, there is no reason why you couldn't turn a profit ... the key is finding a niche travel area, which is difficult, but not impossible.

thranax profile image

thranax 5 years ago from Rep Boston MA

Nice guide on how to be and what is expected of an online travel agency. It seems like a lot of work and it looks as if the chances of failure are high. Off the top of my head all I think about are:

Expedia first.

Hotels.com 2nd

Travelocity 3rd

kayak.com 4th

If I was to plan a trip I would use one of these places. I don't know how an individual at home would change my mind on picking one of these, or for the matter get into my head their name/brand.

A great hub idea is to create a guide to emerging into the online travel agency field to become successful at doing this, because right now it seems like nothing more then you posting on facebook "hey guys i need work if your traveling hit me up and ill get you the cheapest rates."


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