How to get started being a home TA?
I am passionate about travel and visiting places in the world, although I have never left my country. This has been due to finances as well as my two high needs kiddos. I'm very interested in being a work from home travel agent, but am a little baffled at how exactly to go about this.
I know I need a host agency, but do I need any sort of credentials/certification BEFORE I apply to a host agency? Are there reputable Canadian companies that offer decently priced training? Are there online training/certification resources?
What about reputable Canadian [more specifically, Atlantic Canadian] agencies?
I have no formal travel or tourism experience and while there is a tourism community college course in my area, it doesn't have any focus on becoming a travel agent/counsellor.
I have wonderful computer skills, am a fast learner, very organized, have customer service experience and am also a good time manager. I don't have a LOT of sales experience, but do have some.
Eventually I'd love to be a Disney Vacation Planner! Seems like it would be so fun!
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
In Ontario you would have to have a TICO certificate to be associated to any agency (that was my experience).
I went to community college and got a travel and tourism certificate, you may think it is not relevent if there is a tourism college in your area but there is a ton of information to learn, and it was fun! A woman I met at college is now working on The Disney Magic!
In my experience it is really, really hard to find clients, especially Disney, everyone I know books their own trips. I made $25 commission on the last trip I booked after the agency took their 70% :(
A friend of mine just booked a trip to Las Vegas through another agency and didn't even talk to me. I would have loved to book the trip. I was really annoyed with her.
The agency I'm associated to is starting to push me to book more trips. I don't mean to put a damper on your dream, it really is mine too, it's just hard! I would love, love, love to book more trips.
I have done all the Disney Travel Agent classes and am a Disney Specialist.
Good luck! I'd start with college classes, there is a lot to learn. I've also heard that some places train you. Go to local agencies and talk to them - tell them what you want to do - YOU JUST NEVER KNOW :woohoo:
I'm about half way through a Travel program through Humber College in Toronto. It is an online course and I'm really liking it, especially that you can go at your own pace (I've been doing it for a little over a year), I'm on my fifth course and I believe there is 11 or 12 courses altogether. They also help you prepare for the TICO exam.
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look at www.travelonly.com as I think they offer a training program and then set you up with your own online site. The TICO exam is really easy, and you can order the study guide or download it and then you arrange a time and place with a proctor to write the test and do it.
The hard part is selling travel. I have done it at home and it's funny that even friends would book their own travel as they can get the same price you can from most places now. So many of the wholesalers are selling directly to the travellers now that it is making travel agents not necessary. So many people have travelled so extensively anymore that they might know more than the agent. Agents don't generally make enough to do alot of travelling and it's hard to know about everywhere. My friend owns his own agency and he NEVER goes anywhere.
Get a good job and make enough money that you can go where you want when you want....you won't get that from being a travel agent. I can tell you from my own experience.
When I first became a travel agent in the early 90's there was lots of opportunity and we got lots of agent trips around the world and now it's few and far between and the internet has created more opportunity for people to book their own without using an agent that may charge them service fees.
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