When you work with an accountant, lawyer, personal trainer, or any other service provider you are used to paying a fee, it is the same concept for travel advisors.
As a small business owner, I pay a fee to my host agency in addition to the other general costs of doing business (legal, administrative, marketing). It is my affiliation with my host agency that gives me the “buying power” to offer the most amazing experiences for my clients. There is a commission but those margins are tight. Best case 10% on hotels and believe it or not there is no commission on most airline flights and activities.
A typical trip takes about 30 hours to organize and the work doesn’t end there. After the trip is planned there is still work to be done monitoring travel restrictions and requirements in this new COVID travel world.
In the industry, we call them “tire kickers,” people who want to “pick my brain” or shop costs leading to self-booking based on the research I pull together.
When I launched my business I knew the value of time and research when it comes to planning trips and knew planning fees were going to be a part of my business model. It doesn’t mean that you have to pay a fee in order to speak with me. Part of the process is conducting a consultation call where you share your travel dreams and determine if we are a good fit. From there if we decide to move forward I start working on your amazing bespoke adventure once the planning fee is obtained.
The commission-only model also just doesn’t make sense. It takes my focus off of what is in the best interest of the client and by sheer need of survival puts the emphasis on where the most money is to be made. To me, the commission isn’t compensation for my time, knowledge, or experience. The commission is an incentive provided by a wholesaler or supplier for me to book an element of a trip through them versus a different channel.
Here’s the thing: I’m not really selling you travel; I’m selling you time and access.
Every minute you don’t spend researching a vacation online is a minute you can either use to a) work more and make more money yourself or b) spend doing something you like doing more than planning travel.
If time and access sound like a good sell to you, visit my Contact page so I can start planning your next adventure.
If you like this article, then please join Salt and Sky Travel Designs newsletter for more travel destinations and tips. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.