How to Establish a Home Based Travel Agency

If you wish to establish a home based business, you might think to start a home travel agency. This business is very profitable, easy, and economical. You will get that this is one of the simplest way to start a home business, as you do not require your own artifact or service. Instead, your business is based on the services and products of others. All you need is to set those services and products together with the people who call for them. However, you need to consider certain things before you start a home based travel business. Here are some simple tips to consider while establishing a home based travel agency.

Register your business

Initially, when you establish a business, you have to register it according to your country laws. When you are establishing a home based travel agency, you should institute two separate bank accounts, one account shall be used to manage the money that will be sent in by the clients, and the second one will hold the business finances.

Decide the type of agency

Before begin a business, you should choose whether you would like to institute a home travel agency which is accountable for booking and selling travel packages or a travel referral agency. A referral travel manager needs an expression of mouth advertising, to lead the customer an online entrance where they can book their trip. It is also an association business as the referrals in most cases come from friends, associates, and family. It is easy to be an online travel representative as it only needs handing out flyers, business cards and perhaps placing online advertisements. There is no urgent contact with the customer except someone wants questions answered.

Consider the establishment costs involved

Where to set up your business office, will have an influence on how many resources you would necessitate to start. This is a significant factor to consider when beginning a travel business. Home based travel agencies normally manage their primary days with just a computer and a telephone. If you want to have a workplace, then you should be aware of the added costs such as the furniture, rent and electricity.

Client Knowledge

In the industry of traveling, you should identify that there are two major markets you should aim. The primary market comprises users and clients that travel. The next market is the business or communal class.

Financial prospective

As a travel representative, you are managing a job which depends on performance and the sum of people profitably book for traveling. If you know how to manage the business well, you might probably earn a healthy amount annually.

Three Biggest Challenges of Travel Agencies and How Travel Agency Management Software Should Help

There are travel agencies which are still managing travels and tour packages manually. Too many papers are wasted daily to check on tours and collaboration among departments in the travel agencies is difficult.

Walk in to a typical travel agency and you see stack of papers on the shelf with all tour itineraries, some may even be outdated. If you are lucky enough, you get a good pricing for your tour because the travel agency did not update the pricing or tours on a real-time basis. Main challenges for travel agencies include business operations, costings and employee management.

Business Operations Challenges
– Updates of travel packages were not applied across all departments and branches, affecting front desk staffs selling packages with old pricing – incurring losses
– Difficulties for front desk staffs to check on updates as there were no online, centralized database
– Break-down in communications among departments and difficulty to communicate among branches

Costing Challenges
– Tremendous amount of papers used and wasteful printings for travel packages and itineraries – incurring extra overheads
– Employees need to work extra hours to complete checkings and coordination manually – incurring extra employees wages
– Communications using traditional methods including faxes, scans, phone calls and land lines incurring additional costs

Employee Management Challenges
– Fraud of employees punching cards for each other, making losses for extra overtime payments
– Leaves are managed manually without accuracy and often miscalculated
– Additional employees needed every end of month to calculate working hours to compute payroll

Travel Agency Management System – What is Good?
For a travel agency management system to work, it should at least have the below features. I am, however, generalizing based on typical travel agencies which still operate manually in Malaysia. For any IT systems to work, it should solve the biggest challenges and bottlenecks in your business. Therefore the below list is just a general one.

Real-time, centralized travel itineraries and uploading of tour files

– The travel agency management system should be able to centralize data and real-time to allow uploads of tour files for immediate viewing, real-time information across whole company, branches and even with external agents, also allowing front desk staffs to disseminate information accurately.

Preferably integrated with back-end system

– Should business operations be your main challenge, then the system should integrate with back-end system including but not limited to payroll, time attendance system, e-leave management system, billing, accounting and financial implementation, customer relationship management and loyalty programs to name a few.

Payroll calculation and overtime for employees

– At month-end, salaries will be headache especially at agencies which also pay overtime for unpredictable work schedule. An integrated system with payroll for calculation of basic salary, overtime and allowances will save costs and time.

Audit log files for transactions

– Security is also important so the travel agency management system should be able to monitor transactions by viewing transaction history or audit logs of each amendment done.

Preferably with multiple payment types

– Customers will normally pay for a tour with many different methods so a travel agency solution should allow multiple payment types including by cash, cheque, direct transfer, credit card or tele transfer

Connect and maintain centralized customer base with a CRM system

– Details of customers registered for tours should be stored in a common database for better customer relationship management.

Online Travel Agencies – The Advantages and Disadvantages

Planning on having a vacation with your family? Do you want to have a hassle free option for you to set up your travel plans and choose the best travel destinations around the world? No worries. The easiest and the most convenient way to book your ticket and help you with your travel itinerary are through the internet. You can find so many websites about travel guides and tours that would certainly help you with your trip.

You can find online travel agencies that can be helpful in giving you information about great destinations around the world without going to any travel agency office or talk to a travel agent. These online travel agencies will surely give you all the comforts to set up your destination plans in front of your laptop or PC. When you choose your online travel destination, you have to remember to find the best deal that allows you to choose your own destination and at the same time gives you all the comfort and convenience.

The benefits and advantage of online travel agencies is having low cost and convenience. Online travel agencies is also available at any time, as long as you go online, you have all the time for bookings that you need to complete. With all these online agencies, you have all the option to choose the best deal and the right budget for you. It also gives the comfort in the country of destination; you are provided with the transfer to your hotel and agencies are the one taking care of any problems you might encounter.

Also, the advantage of choosing online agencies is your control on your decision without influences or pressure from travel agents. If you visit a travel agency office, many travel agents have the same tone like a salesman; remember that most of these people are working under a commission program. So basically, you might be pressured by their sales pitch and book a trip without checking other good options and much less affordable.

Usually one of the concerns for online travel agencies is the security of paying large amounts of money online. Online security is a major issue for any online business, so it is very important to make sure and choose a travel agency online with a good reputation by checking customer reviews and feedback. Not all agencies can be relied on because some of them might disappear with your money. There are so many scams over the internet nowadays, so b very careful. It is better to be safe than sorry.

So overall, make sure to choose the legitimate and quality online travel agencies to avoid scams. Always seek some tips and assistance if you’re not sure about the online travel agency. Most importantly plan your trip carefully to avoid any hassles or problems. Good luck and enjoy your vacation.

Details About Working With an Online Travel Agency

When you are looking to book your next vacation or your next business trip, you may be considering using an online travel agency. Before you decide to do so, however, you should be aware of what to expect from an online travel agency so you can determine how best to match that to your own unique needs. There are several different levels of service in which to classify online travel agencies, the level you need depends on your trip requirements as well as your personal travel and leisure preferences or desires.

Quite simply, you should be able to find an online travel agency that can fulfill any expectation you may have. Whether you prefer self-service travel plans where you do all of your own searching and booking, or a full-service online agency that handles every detail on your behalf, there are many options available. Depending on the type of travel you will be undertaking, there are also various options that you can consider among online travel agencies. Some specialize only in travel packages, while others offer a la carte menus of travel services for you to pick and choose.

There are several expectations, however, that are universal to all online travel agencies. These have to do with the minimum level of service provided and the quality and competitiveness of the types of travel being sold. It is best to qualify the online travel agency on all of these expectations before you choose to enter into partnership with them for the travel you are seeking to plan.

The first universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is having a variety of destinations and packages available to choose from. It does not matter what specialty the agency might have, from full-service travel to niche travel such as cruises or unusual destinations. No matter what is being sold, you always want to partner with an agency that provides options. While the first option you see may very well end up being the best choice or the best value, you will have no means of determining that unless other options are available for comparison. Good self-service travel sites will readily offer you comparison information. Full-service online travel agencies should compile that same information and present it to you when you are in the process of making a decision.

The second universal expectation you should have when using an online travel agency is that they offer the same basic types of vacations from more than one carrier or provider. For example, you can choose between two major airlines for the same New York-to-Miami flight leg of your trip. If an online travel agency represents only one brand, they are not truly a travel agency; instead, they are a representative of that brand. If only one brand were offered, customers would have no means of evaluating whether the services and products offered were of value or were worthless. Having a number of providers to choose from when selecting hotel or airfare or cruise line shows that the travel agency is actively updating its site with the best prices and options currently available.

The third universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is price competitiveness. Although travel agencies sometimes charge fees to travelers in order to off-set their cost of doing business, those fees must be fair. The charges for the actual travel services you see published through online travel agencies should be no more than what you would pay if you went directly through the provider, and, in fact, less if bundled with other services.

The final universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is a service-level guarantee that ensures you get what you pay for and are treated in a courteous and appropriate manner. Online travel agencies should also offer some form of a guarantee for your purchases that no foreseeable action on their part or the part of the service provider will interrupt your travel. They cannot warrant against freak or random occurrences, but they can ensure that their own offerings are solid before offered.

Perhaps the best thing about using an online agency is the availability of customer reviews and feedback you can read before making a final purchase. Another nice convenience, for repeat customers, is the ability to create your own customer profile that allows you to save certain options in your preferences that will streamline future vacation planning. You can save time and hassle by storing any corporate or membership discount numbers, frequent flyer numbers and other pertinent information on your customer profile.

The expectations you hold for the online travel agency you select as a partner may be varied. If they can uphold these four basic standards of quality, you can be assured that you are getting sound representation and the best deals available.