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Different Travel Agency Business Models

Different Travel Agency Business Models4/18
Different Travel Agency Business Models

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Different Travel Agency Business Models

There are several different business models for travel agencies.

Travel Agency Business Models

Not long ago most travel agencies were brick-and-mortar businesses located on main streets or in shopping centers. Today, multiple business models exist, from the independent advisor/contractor and home-based/virtual advisor to the multibillion dollar online agency with thousands of employees. Below gives you a look into the different types of models in detail.

The Retail (Traditional) Travel Agency

A retail travel agency typically consists of a storefront location that provides walk-up clients direct access to consult with a travel advisor. These travel agencies often use their physical location as a means of driving business, and also use a mix of traditional and online marketing methods. Retail travel agencies are often independently owned and managed, and employ or contract individual travel advisors who may specialize in certain types of travel or clients.

The Travel Management Company (TMC)

Travel Management Companies (TMCs) are travel agencies that focus on providing travel management services to corporations for business travel purposes. The TMC's primary role is to help companies effectively control travel spending by negotiating savings with travel vendors and managing traveler behavior. TMCs often provide comprehensive data and analytical reports, and may maintain a 24/7 emergency help desk.

The Online Travel Agency (OTA)

Online travel agencies can be thought of as web-based marketplaces allowing travelers to research and book travel products and services online. While efficiencies can be gained by offering consumers a robust online shopping experience, there often comes a point where the online buyer needs personal assistance to complete the transaction. Online agencies hire a range of skilled talent, from IT to expert travel advisors.

The Independent Advisor

The independent advisor is typically defined as a self-employed travel advisor. As an independent business, these advisors or agencies have their own unique business names and must comply with all applicable local and state registration requirements, like a traditional travel agency. Independent advisors are considered self-employed, unlike employees of traditional, TMC or OTA agencies.

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