A travel agency is a private retailer or public service that provides travel and tourism related services to the public on behalf of suppliers such as activities, airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, travel insurance, and package tours.
- A travel agency’s main function is to act as an agent, selling travel products and services on behalf of a supplier.
- In addition to dealing with ordinary tourists, most travel agencies have a separate department devoted to making travel arrangements for business travelers some travel agencies specialize in commercial and business travel only. There are also travel agencies that serve as general sales agents for foreign travel companies, allowing them to have offices in countries other than where their headquarters are located. Public service.
- It is a service which is provided by a government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services. The term is associated with a social consensus (usually expressed through democratic elections) that certain services should be available to all, regardless of income, physical ability or mental acuity. Even where public services are neither publicly provided nor publicly financed, for social and political reasons they are usually subject to regulation going beyond that applying to most economic sectors. Public policy when made in the public’s interest and motivations can provide public services. Public service is also a course that can be studied at a college or university. Examples of public services are the fire brigade, police, air force, and paramedics.
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Types of Travel Agents:
There are six types of agents that can benefit the business of tour operators and activity providers.
Independent Travel Agents
Online Travel Agents
Visitor Information Centers
Hotel and Concierge Services
Inbound Tour Operators
Global Distribution Systems
6 Kinds of Agents Tours and Activities Can Partner with Five different types of agencies exist in the United States: independent, host, franchise, consortium, and mega-agencies. American Express and the American Automobile Association are examples of mega travel agencies. Carlson Wagonlit Travel is an example of a consortium agency consisting of various types of specialty agencies. An example of an independent travel agency is one that is started by a sole proprietorship or partnership between individuals that have no business partnerships with competition agencies. Each type of travel agency has its pros and cons. Travel agencies became more commonplace with the development of commercial aviation, starting in the 1920s. Originally, travel agencies largely catered to middle and upper-class customers, but the post-war boom in mass-market package holidays resulted in the proliferation of travel agencies on the main streets of most British towns, catering to a working-class clientele looking for a convenient way to book overseas beach holidays. The modern travel agency first appeared in the second half of the 19th century with its root in 1758 as the establishment of Cox & Kings Ltd. In the year 1970, Cox & Kings the longest established Travel Company. Cantered its focus on its business of travel and tourism. Lately, Thomas Cook also established a chain of agencies in the last quarter of the 19th century, in association with the Midland Railway. They not only sold their own tours to the public but in addition, represented other tour companies. Other British pioneer travel agencies were Dean, Dawson, the Polytechnic Touring Association, and the Co-operative Wholesale Society. The oldest travel agency in the United States is Brown ell Travel; on 4 July 1887, Walter T. Brown ell led ten travelers on a European tour, setting sail from New York on the SS Devonian.
Role of Travels Agency:
- Travel’s main function is to act as an agent, selling travel products and services on behalf of a supplier. Consequently, unlike other retail businesses, they do not keep a stock in hand, unless they have pre-booked hotel rooms and/or cabins on a cruise ship for a group travel event such as a wedding, honeymoon, or a group event. A package holiday or a ticket is not purchased from a supplier unless a customer requests that purchase. The holiday or ticket is supplied to the agency at a discount. The profit is, therefore, the difference between the advertised price which the customer pays and the discounted price at which it is supplied to the agent. This is known as the commission. In many countries, all individuals or companies that sell tickets are required to be licensed as a travel agent.
- All travel sites that sell hotels online work together with GDS, suppliers, and hotels directly to search for room inventory. 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 website will not necessarily result in an instant confirmation. Only some hotels on a travel website can be confirmed instantly (which is normally marked as such on each site).  As different travel websites work with different suppliers, each site has different hotels that it can confirm instantly. Some examples of such online travel websites that sell hotel rooms are Expedia, Orbit z, and Price line.
- Traditionally, travel agencies’ principal source of income was and continues to be, commissions paid for bookings of car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours, tour operators, etc. A fixed percentage of the main element of the price is paid to the agent as a commission. Commissions may vary depending on the type of product and the supplier. Commissions are not paid on the tax component of the price. Travel agencies also receive a large variety of bonuses, benefits, and other incentives from travel and tourism-related companies as inducements for travel agents to promote their products. The customer is normally not made aware of how much the travel agent is earning in commissions and other benefits. Other sources of income may include the sale of insurance, travel guidebooks, public transport timetables and money exchange.
- Since 1995, many travel agents have exited the industry, and relatively few young people have entered the field due to less competitive salaries. However, others have abandoned the “brick and mortar” agency for a home-based business to reduce overhead, and those who remain have managed to survive by promoting other travel products, such as cruise lines and train excursions, or by promoting their ability to aggressively research and assemble complex travel packages on a moment’s notice, essentially acting as an advanced concierge. In this regard, travel agents can remain competitive, if they become “travel consultants” with flawless knowledge of destination regions and specialize in topics like nautical tourism or cultural tourism.
- When it comes to corporate travel agent employees, it’s difficult to find concrete data. Zip recruiter (which operates outside the travel industry) reported as of Aug. 2018 that the average virtual corporate travel agent (employee) salary ranges from $12,500-$100,500 registering an average of $47,877 annually.
- Planning a trip is a time-consuming and complicated process. Travel agents simplify this process for their customers in addition to providing consultation services and entire travel packages. They may book flights, cruises, rental cars and hotels, as well as resort stays and events.
- On-the-job training mainly focuses on the computer systems travel agents use to book airline and hotel arrangements. Most states do not require travel agents to hold a license or certificate, but some require travel agents to register with the state.
Indian Travel Agencies:
- Make My Trip
- Cox and Kings
- Kesari Tour
- Club Mahindra Holidays
The travel agency is the best option to plan for a long trip so we must use them and make memento part of life.
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