IC Hosts – Travel Leaders Network https://www.travelleadershosts.com/ Find A Host Agency Wed, 25 Jan 2023 19:04:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Independent Contractors Should Know and Use their Resources https://www.travelleadershosts.com/independent-contractors-should-know-and-use-their-resources/ Wed, 25 Jan 2023 18:11:41 +0000 https://www.travelleadershosts.com/?p=2514 The post Independent Contractors Should Know and Use their Resources appeared first on IC Hosts - Travel Leaders Network.

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Lea Diele, CTIE
Senior Manager, Independent Contractor Program
Travel Leaders Network

Client conversations are the most important part of being a travel advisor. These conversations allow you to have a deeper understanding of clients’ needs, likes and travel dynamics.

You, as the independent travel consultant, are also the client’s main resource for all their travel questions. One such area is alleviating their fears when it comes to US Customs and Immigration for when clients’ travel abroad and are returning home to the United States. Giving this information as an “added value” to your services for your clients is not only impressive, but it also allows for them to know that you are assisting them in all of their travel needs.

But where do you get the trusted information you need to pass along to your clients? For Travel Leaders Network members, that resource is Agent Universe.

Agent Universe is our members-only intranet portal where advisors discover all the information and booking instructions they need to maximize our award-winning marketing and technology solutions. It’s also a key resource for travel industry information that makes you look like the pro you are.

From travel aids and planning tools to travel alerts and talking points on current events, Agent Universe is a central depository for all things travel. If you have a resource like this—use it. Use it often. Become the all-knowing travel professional your clients need you to be.

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Why FAM Trips Matter https://www.travelleadershosts.com/why-fam-trips-matter/ Wed, 04 Sep 2019 20:15:44 +0000 https://www.travelleadershosts.com/?p=2737 The post Why FAM Trips Matter appeared first on IC Hosts - Travel Leaders Network.

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Mary Janowiak
Manager, Independent Contractor Program
Travel Leaders Network

Some people are surprised to discover that travel advisors or not only still around, but we’re thriving in the internet age. While there are numerous factors behind this, the one I personally think is the most important is real-world experience.

The internet will never replace real-world experience. Sure you can easily find 1,000 different reviews from 1,000 different people about a location or cruise ship, and many of those will be legit. But those are simply bewildering to a traveler looking for direct and honest information from someone they can trust.

 

That is where us travel pros come in. By using our vast travel experiences, we can help guide people to the vacation of their dreams. We can tell them which cruise ships are the best, because we’ve sailed on them. We can state with utter confidence which all-inclusive resort offers the highest quality of services because we’ve stayed at them.

But what about advisors just starting out who have not gained enough real-world experience? Frankly, you need to travel. But traveling the globe is not cheap, which is why FAM trips, or familiarization trips, are so important.

Offered by our supplier and destination partners at a discounted rate, FAM trips are your opportunities to learn products and destinations on a first-hand basis. Travel Leaders Network has a dedicated page on our Agent Universe member portal for the latest and greatest Education Travel/FAM trips currently offered.

As I write this blog post, there are currently opportunities regarding AmaWaterways, Maui, Turkey, Catalonia, and Cancun. This area is updated frequently, so members check back regularly for new opportunities.

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Bring Your Friends to the Travel Industry https://www.travelleadershosts.com/bring-your-friends-to-the-travel-industry/ Wed, 04 Sep 2019 20:12:43 +0000 https://www.travelleadershosts.com/?p=2734 The post Bring Your Friends to the Travel Industry appeared first on IC Hosts - Travel Leaders Network.

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Mary Janowiak
Manager, Independent Contractor Program
Travel Leaders Network

It’s a great time to be in the travel business. The consumer index for buyer confidence is high, and travelers looking to purchase cruises and vacation packages is soaring. What’s more, people are searching for travel advisor assistance more and more.

Our lead generation program pulled in more than 140,000 leads in the last 12 months just from people Googling for travel advisors in their area or advisors who specialize in a certain destination or travel style. Over 20% of these leads led to sales of over $5,000!

What does this mean for you? Great question. With so much success to hand out across the industry, we think it’s time to invite your friends to the party!

If you’re already a travel professional and know of colleagues who are currently not in Travel Leaders Network, now’s the time to ask them to join you. What better way to take advantage of this up-swell in consumer confidence and travel transactions than to have the proven, award-winning programs and services of Travel Leaders Network on your side? Tell your colleagues about our booking tools, lead gen, website programs and industry-top commission levels—and then have them contact your host agency to get started as an Independent Contractor. They should be just as successful and profitable as the rest of us!

Also if you know of someone that would make an excellent travel advisor but who might not have the skill set or education to jump into the travel industry, then send them to the Travel Leaders of Tomorrow (www.TravelLeadersofTomorrow.com). That is the ideal place for new entrants to our industry to learn all there is about becoming a powerful seller of travel. Bonus: They’ll receive $100 off the courses offered just because you referred them!

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Join Your National Trade Association — ASTA https://www.travelleadershosts.com/join-your-national-trade-association-asta/ Thu, 20 Sep 2018 17:15:30 +0000 https://www.travelleadershosts.com/?p=2556 There are numerous requirements to be an Independent Contractor in today’s travel industry. One of the most important necessities is to be supportive of the industry that allows you to flourish professionally.

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Lea Diele
CTIE Senior Manager, Independent Contractor Program
Travel Leaders Network

There are numerous requirements to be an Independent Contractor in today’s travel industry. One of the most important necessities is to be supportive of the industry that allows you to flourish professionally. Laws governing travel agent work are unpredictable and constantly evolving. Legislation controls everything from how much you can earn to how your job is performed. Every independent contractor needs to be heard and represented in regard to this legislation.

join your national trade association

All independent contractors can now participate in the American Society of Travel Advisors, thanks to new membership rates. (That’s not a typo!) The American Society of Travel Agents has rebranded as the American Society of Travel Advisors. Its new and improved features were shown off at the ASTA Global Convention last month. Show your dedication and support for your business and for the important role you play in the travel community. An Independent Contractor Membership is only $199 per year.

You will be able to receive a plethora of ASTA benefits by working with a member host agency that is a part of the Travel Leaders family. These benefits may include, but are not limited to:

  • The latest alerts for industry news.
  • Members-only resources, white papers and webinars with helpful tips so your business can thrive.
  • Your own Travel Business profile so that you can generate consumer leads and grow your name.
  • The right to display the ASTA logo in client-facing materials to showcase your expertise (in business cards, letterheads and email signature).
  • Access to ASTA events, research summaries and training.
  • ASTANetwork — the ASTA quarterly publication.
  • The opportunity to experience new destinations and products with organized educational learning for all travel agents.
  • Savings on business services.
  • And an ID card to proudly display your membership.

Furthermore, according to a recent ASTA report, a majority of travel agents are independent contractors. Make sure that your voice is heard and join your national trade association today. ASTA is a trusted organization dedicated to representing your needs — enroll to gain the credibility that comes from being a card-carrying member. Transform your customers into long-time clients when you join the trusted ASTA organization.

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Independent Contractors Should Know and Use their Resources https://www.travelleadershosts.com/icresources/ Fri, 22 Jun 2018 18:09:24 +0000 https://www.travelleadershosts.com/?p=2475 Client conversations are the most important part of being a travel agent. These conversations allow you to have a deeper understanding of clients’ needs, likes and travel dynamics.

The post Independent Contractors Should Know and Use their Resources appeared first on IC Hosts - Travel Leaders Network.

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Lea Diele, CTIE
Senior Manager, Independent Contractor Program
Travel Leaders Network

Client conversations are the most important part of being a travel advisor. These conversations allow you to have a deeper understanding of clients’ needs, likes and travel dynamics.

You, as the independent travel consultant, are also the client’s main resource for all their travel questions. One such area is alleviating their fears when it comes to US Customs and Immigration for when clients’ travel abroad and are returning home to the United States. Giving this information as an “added value” to your services for your clients is not only impressive, but it also allows for them to know that you are assisting them in all of their travel needs.

But where do you get the trusted information you need to pass along to your clients? For Travel Leaders Network members, that resource is Agent Universe.

Agent Universe is our members-only intranet portal where advisors discover all the information and booking instructions they need to maximize our award-winning marketing and technology solutions. It’s also a key resource for travel industry information that makes you look like the pro you are.

From travel aids and planning tools to travel alerts and talking points on current events, Agent Universe is a central depository for all things travel. If you have a resource like this—use it. Use it often. Become the all-knowing travel professional your clients need you to be.

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10 Questions ICs Should Ask before Joining a Host Agency https://www.travelleadershosts.com/10-questions-ics-should-ask-before-joining-a-host-agency/ Mon, 21 May 2018 14:12:48 +0000 https://www.travelleadershosts.com/?p=2387 Joining the right Host Agency is the most important decision an Independent Contractor (IC) can make. In the wrong situation, your sales stagnate and you can lose your passion. But in the right situation, every facet of your business improves, and your desire to show your clients the world grows more every day.

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Lea Diele, CTIE
Senior Manager, Independent Contractor Program
Travel Leaders Network

Joining the right Host Agency is the most important decision an Independent Contractor (IC) can make. In the wrong situation, your sales stagnate and you can lose your passion.  But in the right situation, every facet of your business improves, and your desire to show your clients the world grows more every day.

At Travel Leaders Network, we work hard to match ICs with the right Host Agency, making sure that both sides benefit from the relationship. For ICs trying to play matchmaker by themselves, here are the questions you should be asking your potential host agency:

  1. Do you offer programs that give me a competitive advantage?

Look for programs that help your clients save, create customized experiences or that provide value-added bonus amenities for client retention.

Handling your personal and company expenses in different accounts makes it easier to keep records and prepare tax filings for your CPA, thus saving your valuable time and money in your CPA tax preparation. If you happen to be audited, you will not be alone in countering an audit with the help of your CPA.

  1. Who are your strongest vendor partnerships with?

Hopefully, the answer will be the same vendors you already use and book daily.

  1. Do you have a lead generation program?

Good leads are essential to growth. Most agencies offer one, but find out how successful it is before signing on the dotted line.

  1. What kind of booking tools do you provide?

Aim for those that are easy to use and that simplify the booking process thus creating more time for you to meet with    clients to gain more in sales.

  1. What are the average commission levels your agency receives from your preferred suppliers?

Smaller agencies can still earn bigtime commissions when they belong to the right consortia.  You can benefit from   this in multiple ways.

  1. Do you offer specific Independent Contractor business coaching, classes or workshops?

The more you know, the more you can build your business and your earnings.  Having access to a business coach offers    you the best scenario to meet your goals.

  1. Do you offer ICs educational travel opportunities or FAM trips?

You want to partner with an agency that’s ready to invest in your future.

  1. Do you actively promote your ICs to attend regional meetings or national conferences?

Knowing your resources will help you grow your business even more.

  1. How involved are the agency owners?

    The best Hosts want to know you and will take the time to learn about your goals and objectives.

  2. How professional is the agency’s in-house staff?

The Host Agency becomes your business family, so this is your time to align yourself with high-quality professionals who are eager to assist and mentor you, when needed.

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The Benefits of Organizing Group Travel https://www.travelleadershosts.com/benefitsorganizinggrouptravel/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:36:45 +0000 https://www.travelleadershosts.com/?p=2340 The benefits of organizing group travel are well established. Not only do you earn a sizeable commission, but you also get to showcase your value to many potential clients in the group who just discovered your services for the first time.

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The benefits of organizing group travel are well established. Not only do you earn a sizeable commission, but you also get to showcase your value to many potential clients in the group who just discovered your services for the first time.

There are several tutorials and classes Independent Contractors can view to learn more, but nothing is more immersive than the Travel Leaders Network Certified Group Travel Specialist Program. This unique, career-boosting educational opportunity provides a comprehensive approach to group sales, including planning, selling, marketing and managing group travel.

Upon completion of the program—which gives you three years to obtain 300 credits by successfully completing eight diverse modules—members will earn the designation of “Certified Group Travel Specialist” with Travel Leaders Network.

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IC’s Tips for Understanding Your Return in Social Media https://www.travelleadershosts.com/ictipsinsocialmedia/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:52:37 +0000 https://www.travelleadershosts.com/?p=2331 Social media has become a part of our daily lives with people of all ages using it. Here is a breakdown of the social sites that will help you to customize your social media plan as an independent travel agent.

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Social media has become a part of our daily lives with people of all ages using it. While it’s important to your independent contractor travel business to be active on social media, it’s more important that you determine the best use of your time. Here is a breakdown of the social sites that will help you to customize your social media plan as an independent travel agent.

LinkedIn is the perfect place to share professional content and network with others in your industry. If you specialize in Corporate Travel, Corporate Group Travel and Meetings and Events Travel, this will be an important channel for you as a B2B social Network.

Facebook is the perfect place to engage with your Leisure Customers, since content is easy to share and has a high number of users—many of which view content via Facebook on a daily basis. Facebook is the most widely used social media platform with 79% of Americans using it today.
Twitter is less visual and has a 280 character limit, so it requires the use of tagging others and using hashtags (#)to drive engagement and shares. This channel moves incredibly fast, so it’s important to keep active multiple times per day.

Instagram is a mobile app where you can share inspiring travel photos or videos. This is beneficial for Leisure Travel or even a specific travel type like Luxury Travel, Adventure Travel, and Destination Weddings & Honeymoons. Share client photos of your own as a way to encourage Instagram users to book travel with you.

Pinterest Is a visual channel where you can create idea boards, such as travel bucket lists, warm weather destinations, or family travel tips for parent with children under five. The content links back to your website, so be sure to finish that communication channel and give the viewer the understanding of why you are the best one to call for that particular topic. This will create that spider affect and draw additional views to your website.

HINT: Chose a social media platform to focus on. Be sure you are active on it daily. Create visuals for best engagement. Have fun in telling your story—whether it is a new destination you just went to and showcase your own pictures, a new product you experienced or something cool and exciting that you want to share about travel that will inspire or entice your phone to ring.

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Tips On How Independent Contractors Should Manage Their Finances https://www.travelleadershosts.com/tips-on-how-independent-contractors-should-manage-their-finances/ Thu, 18 Feb 2016 12:33:11 +0000 http://bridge11.qodeinteractive.com/?p=1 As an independent contractor in the travel industry, it is up to you to pay taxes. The best tax tip for independent travel agents is to hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A CPA could ultimately save you money and offer you a bigger tax break than you may have been able to uncover on your own. Just like you are considered an expert in your field and must stay abreast of destinations, offerings and preferred vendors; a CPA is your expert who stays up-to-date with the latest in accounting and tax information. 

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As an independent contractor in the travel industry, it is up to you to pay taxes.

The best tax tip for independent travel agents is to hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A CPA could ultimately save you money and offer you a bigger tax break than you may have been able to uncover on your own. Just like you are considered an expert in your field and must stay abreast of destinations, offerings and preferred vendors; a CPA is your expert who stays up-to-date with the latest in accounting and tax information.

Your clients do not know the difference between airport codes PDX or PWM. They rely on you to get them to Portland, Maine, and not Portland, Oregon. Similarly, your CPA understands IRS tax codes to best advise you when filing your taxes. Expert assistance can save you in both time and money.

Keeping Your Records in Order

Keep your business and personal accounts separate. If you’re not an incorporated company, you may not be required to keep a separate bank account for your business—but it’s still a good idea for a number of reasons.

Handling your personal and company expenses in different accounts makes it easier to keep records and prepare tax filings for your CPA, thus saving your valuable time and money in your CPA tax preparation. If you happen to be audited, you will not be alone in countering an audit with the help of your CPA.

Record Expenses as They Happen

This alone can save your precious time and money by reducing the chance of accounting errors and maximizing tax returns. Trying to remember what you have spent money on six or even nine months prior wastes your time. Rather than scrounging around for receipts, consider using new technology to make life easier.

Expensify is a free mobile app that lets you take photos of receipts, then automatically record and categorizes each business expense. Accounting software for small businesses include QuickBooks or Sage 50, and free programs like WAVE can help small business owners track expenses, record invoices and generally stay on top of bookkeeping.

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