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July 17 2024 / 01:12 PM
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Travelweek
Just over 58% of respondents said they had always been home based

The recent National Travel Agent Survey – an independent nationwide survey of almost 700 Canadian travel agents – revealed that the ranks of home based agents has grown significantly in Canada since before the pandemic.

Just over 58% of respondents said they had always been home based.

The survey also showed 15% of respondents had been in the industry only two years or less, while 26% had been in the industry 26 years or more. All the other age groups represented about 9-13%.

The survey revealed that there are many new entrants into the travel industry, compared with past surveys conducted prior to the pandemic. This has also created a decrease in the average age of travel agents to a younger demographic. Almost 30% are between 20 and 49 years – an encouraging sign for the industry in terms of succession.

 

Home based agents report earning more

The majority of home based agents who moved from either a bricks-and-mortar location or call centre said that they earned more once they became home based.

Just over half (52%) of home based agents reported they are making between 15% – 100% more income by being home based – with 21.5% saying they are making 51% or more.

 

Pandemic insights

The survey also revealed some interesting insights into some other effects of the pandemic on the industry.

When asked if they left the industry during the COVID pandemic and returned, the survey indicates home based agents stayed on in greater percentages that non home based agents.

  • 91% of Home Based did not leave the industry during the pandemic
  • 68% of non-home based agents left and returned (reporting they were laid off, found other work, etc.)

When the question was asked of home based agents how their business fared post pandemic it appears home based agents fared better than other agent types.

61% of home based agents said they were doing better since the pandemic, while 28% said they were doing about the same amount of business post COVID.

 

Clients spending more and diversifying

The survey showed some interesting trends in what agents are selling post COVID. The overall diversity of travel product types has shifted post COVID showing a greater percentage of demand for all travel segments including luxury, exotic, adventure, tours, river cruises, etc.

There is also a clear trend towards bucket list trips and more intimate travel options.

The survey shows the trend towards bucket list and high ticket trips is slightly higher with home based agents than call centre or bricks and mortar agents –  indicating home based agents appear to be more focused on higher margin sales versus package holidays.

The survey was conducted during the month of January by a private consulting firm with close to 700 travel agents from all across Canada taking part, representing a wide variety of chains, consortiums, host agencies, call centers and independents.

Mar 01, 2024

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