I remember when we first launched AGENTatHOME, with the intuitive belief that the home-based segment was a growing market and one that needed a unique information source.
In September 2004—four months after the first issue debuted—we received an amazing report from a large Wall Street firm that focused on this segment of travel distribution. It pegged the market at 15 to 20 percent of all travel agents at that time, and anticipated it would grow by more than 300 percent in the years to come.
Here we are in 2018, and that prediction has come to fruition, as the market for home-based agents now exceeds 70 percent of all travel agents. It’s a great time to mark the journey with our latest survey, which provides you with insights into the largest drivers of leisure travel bookings.
In addition to this in-house survey, we are finalizing a project with the research company GFK/MRI, which expands the results even further.
Here’s what we know: Agents working from home are finally getting their just recognition. The vast majority of these agents are highly professional full-time workers who earn a great living selling travel.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t wannabees out there who are driven by unscrupulous membership/host platforms. We need to make sure that those who play a “numbers game” aren’t the ones who get to be heard. Instead, let’s make sure that we provide a platform for travel professionals to shine and grow their business.
As part of this strategy, AGENTatHOME is launching several new features come January 2019. One such feature, Host Hangout, will put the spotlight on only those host agencies that meet the test of true professionalism in the industry. We’ll also be introducing Consortia Corner to highlight these groups and what they provide travel agents working from home.
It’s an exciting time to be a travel agent working from home, and an exciting time for us to be there right with you. As we roll out our many new features, we look forward to your feedback and comments!