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How to Spot a Bad Travel Host Agency

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As an independent agent, it's your responsibility to be on the lookout for red flags before committing to any travel host agency.
how to spot a bad travel host agency

In recent years, there has been some buzz in the community surrounding travel host agency. Travel hosting doesn’t have a lot of regulation in place which is how some businesses have been able to get away unethical practices. Because of this, it’s your responsibility to be on the lookout for red flags before committing to any travel host. Let’s dive into what those are…

Bad commission splits with your travel host agency

The number one thing to be aware of when signing with a host agency is the commission percentage. Most host agencies take a 30% commission, while others can take up to 50%, sometimes even more. What these agencies are saying is that for all of your hard work, they’re going to keep most of your money.

Watch out for long contract periods

The second things you want to be on the lookout for is long contract periods. Year long or month-to-month contracts are standard in the industry, but even then, there should still be a clause that allows for you to get out of the contract without harsh consequences.

Also look at what happens if you were to leave the company. Watch out for contract clauses that say you’re unable to sell travel for other businesses or yourself outside the host agency. Non-disclosures, non-competes, and other clauses that tie your hands for what you’re able to (or unable to) do once you leave can also be harmful to you and your skills as a travel agent.

If you’re a good travel agent, you likely already have a few thousand dollars in the books for the year ahead. You don’t want organizations to take that away from you. But here’s some hope…

Most host agencies aren’t like this and actually do have ethical practices in place.

Here’s some hope…

  • Super long contracts
  • Bad commission splits (50% or more)
  • Keeping your commissions if you were to leave
  • Restrictive non-competes for working in travel when you leave them
  • Consider what happens to client data
    • Sometimes when you leave a host agency, the company gets to keep ownership of your clients meaning they can continue to market to them.

Keep this in mind…

You are under no obligation to sign any agreement. Before doing anything, seek legal counsel and have them look at your contract to clarify what you’re going to lose by leaving the company.

It’s better to cut your loses now, than it is to regret it later after all.

If you’re in a situation where you’re facing difficulties with a host agency, take this is as your sign to up level and go out on your own. If you need help selecting a reputable host agency, this guide will be of immense help.

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