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Joining a Host Travel Agency: Pros and Cons

A host travel agency is a business that offers support and resources to independent travel agents who are working under their umbrella. By joining a host travel agency, an independent travel agent can access a wider range of products and services, training, marketing, business development, and technology support, which can help them grow their business. Here are some of the pros and cons of joining a host travel agency.

Pros of joining a host travel agency—

Access to a Wider Range of Products and Services: One of the main benefits of joining a host agency is access to a larger network of suppliers and travel products. Host agencies typically have established relationships with a variety of suppliers and travel providers, which can help travel agents secure better rates for their clients. Host agencies also often offer exclusive deals and promotions that may not be available to travel agents who are working independently. By joining a host travel agency, independent travel agents can access a wider range of products and services, including flights, hotels, cruises, tours, and travel insurance. This will provide independent agents with more opportunities to make sales and earn commissions.

Marketing and Technology Support: Host travel agencies typically provide their independent agents with marketing and technology support, including access to a back-office intranet, reservation systems, and training on how to use them. This can help independent agents save time and resources on developing and maintaining their own systems.

Commission and Benefits: Host travel agencies usually offer their independent agents higher commission tiers from preferred supplier partners, along with additional benefits and amenities on the sales they make. This can provide a more stable and reliable source of income for independent travel agents, as well as a competitive advantage against other agencies.

Brand Recognition: By joining a host travel agency, independent travel agents can leverage the recognition and reputation of the host agency’s brand within the industry. If it is a consumer-facing house, this can also increase their credibility and help attract more customers.

Professional Development: Host travel agencies often provide training and development opportunities for their independent agents. This can help them enhance their skills and knowledge, which can ultimately lead to more sales and growth. Host agencies also often have dedicated support teams who can assist agents with day-to-day operations, including bookings, invoicing, and customer service.

Cons of joining a host travel agency—

Commission Splits and Fees: Commission splits can be a challenge for independent travel agents who join a host travel agency. Host travel agencies typically take a percentage of the commission earned by their independent agents, which can reduce their overall earnings. Also, some host agencies may charge fees for use of their technology, brand, insurance, and more.

Lack of Control: Independent travel agents who join a host travel agency may have less control over their business. Host travel agencies may dictate the preferred suppliers that are offered, the commission structure, and other aspects of their business.

Limited Flexibility: Independent travel agents who join a host travel agency may have limited flexibility in how they operate their business. Host travel agencies may set strict rules and guidelines, which can limit the independent agent’s ability to be creative and innovative within their own business.

Competition: Host travel agencies may have many independent travel agents working under their umbrella, which can result in increased competition among agents. This can make it harder for independent agents to differentiate themselves and stand out in the market with similar promotions, education, and development tools.

Dependency on Host Agency: By joining a host travel agency, independent travel agents may become dependent on the host agency for support, resources, and commissions. If the host agency changes its policies or stops operating, independent agents may lose access to these resources.


Joining a host travel agency can provide independent travel agents with many benefits; however, there are also some cons to be aware of. It is important for independent travel agents to carefully consider the pros and cons of joining a host travel agency before making a decision. We recommend chatting with the host agency, or interviewing a couple of them, before making a decision.

Want to find some of the most well-known Host Travel Agencies? Visit www.findahosttravelagency.com or www.hostagencyreviews.com

Interested in learning about Purchasing a Franchise Travel Agency or Starting an Independent Travel Agency? Check out the rest of our Travel Partner Blog!

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Steven Gould

Steven Gould

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