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  • FIRST POST
    • hbp2008
    • By hbp2008 4th Jul 18, 2:51 PM
    • 33Posts
    • 3Thanks
    hbp2008
    0 WOW
    self employed travel agent? What do I need to do?
    • #1
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:51 PM
    0 WOW
    self employed travel agent? What do I need to do? 4th Jul 18 at 2:51 PM
    Hi all.

    I'm thinking of the future so won't be doing this right now, but I'm wanting to become a self employed travel planner. What are the legalities of this, do I need to ATOL register etc?

    I basically want to be an independent travel planner that will help people plan and book their holidays using existing sites etc?

    Any help or advise would be great Thank you
Page 1
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 4th Jul 18, 3:57 PM
    • 11,436 Posts
    • 7,489 Thanks
    Caz3121
    • #2
    • 4th Jul 18, 3:57 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Jul 18, 3:57 PM
    Are you familiar with GDS systems for flight bookings? Amadeus/Sabre etc?
    Have you worked in the industry before? do you have a business plan...commission on flights for agents is tiny (if anything) how would you be making an income? - charging a fee on top of the booking? Are you going to be offering anything that someone cannot do themselves?
    You mention using 'existing sites' - do you mean that you would use the same sites as members of the public?
    • macman
    • By macman 4th Jul 18, 5:37 PM
    • 42,663 Posts
    • 17,938 Thanks
    macman
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 18, 5:37 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 18, 5:37 PM
    Assuming you already have employment experience in the industry, surely you must know what the registration requirements are? There is a big difference between being an agent and being a consultant. Which are you proposing to be? If you are processing client payments and booking for them, then you are an agent and will need to be ATOL licensed. The fees start at around 1200 according to their website.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • richardw
    • By richardw 4th Jul 18, 6:18 PM
    • 18,758 Posts
    • 7,871 Thanks
    richardw
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 18, 6:18 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 18, 6:18 PM
    Why would I get involved with you to do something I can do myself?
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 4th Jul 18, 6:42 PM
    • 20,660 Posts
    • 55,523 Thanks
    Pollycat
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 18, 6:42 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 18, 6:42 PM
    I think I'd be asking the same question that richardw has.
    What added value would you be providing over what I could organise myself using the same websites that you have access to?


    And, of course, Caz3121 has also asked some very pertinent questions.
    • macman
    • By macman 4th Jul 18, 7:12 PM
    • 42,663 Posts
    • 17,938 Thanks
    macman
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 18, 7:12 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 18, 7:12 PM
    There is a market for travel consultants in the luxury/bespoke travel sector, but you would need extensive experience of and contacts in that market. It's unclear if the OP has such a background.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Sooler
    • By Sooler 4th Jul 18, 7:32 PM
    • 2,897 Posts
    • 2,106 Thanks
    Sooler
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 18, 7:32 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 18, 7:32 PM
    There's plenty of people cash rich time poor and spending hours on research and logistical planning ain't their thing.

    See the T&C here for how this site does it - contracts, complaints
    https://www.thepersonaltravelagents.co.uk/agency-t-cs/

    or even consider operating via this site for the professional backup.
    https://www.thepersonaltravelagents.co.uk/find-your-personal-travel-agent/


    I've never heard of it, but then I've never looked for such a thing - do due diligence of course.
    • anna_1977
    • By anna_1977 5th Jul 18, 12:29 PM
    • 740 Posts
    • 1,014 Thanks
    anna_1977
    • #8
    • 5th Jul 18, 12:29 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Jul 18, 12:29 PM
    I can't see there's much money in it.

    I'm one of those people that used a travel consultant to plan a 3 week trip to China and the price was nearly 15k for 4 of us - then went away and booked everything myself and it was 10k
    • seashore22
    • By seashore22 5th Jul 18, 1:01 PM
    • 1,141 Posts
    • 2,575 Thanks
    seashore22
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:01 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:01 PM
    It sounds like you haven't done any research at all op. I have to say that it wouldn't give me confidence that you would be capable of doing searches online for holidays better than me or anyone else on this forum.

    We never book our holidays as a package and always find our own accommodation and flights independently. It's really not that difficult to do and if I was looking for someone to do it for me I would go to a company with a proven track record.
    Last edited by seashore22; 05-07-2018 at 1:42 PM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 5th Jul 18, 1:12 PM
    • 20,660 Posts
    • 55,523 Thanks
    Pollycat
    It sound like you haven't done any research at all op. I have to say that it wouldn't give me confidence that you would be capable of doing searches online for holidays better than me or anyone else on this forum.

    We never book our holidays as a package and always find our own accommodation and flights independently. It's really not that difficult to do and if I was looking for someone to do it for me I would go to a company with a proven track record.
    Originally posted by seashore22
    Me too.

    When I was looking at an escorted tour of China, I checked out lots of companies and read as many reviews as I could find.

    I wouldn't choose a random company/individual to make arrangements for any of my trips.

    Although - going by the number of threads on here and Tripadvisor about using 3rd party companies (On the Beach, Sunshine Travel etc) and 3rd party flight booking sites (Travelgenio, Kiwi.com, eDreams etc) not everyone is as careful about who they give their money to.
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 5th Jul 18, 2:23 PM
    • 4,969 Posts
    • 4,085 Thanks
    Doshwaster
    There is a market for travel consultants in the luxury/bespoke travel sector, but you would need extensive experience of and contacts in that market. It's unclear if the OP has such a background.
    Originally posted by macman
    There is also a role for travel consultants in business travel or corporate events market. Companies are always trying to control their travel budgets or at least get better value for what they do spend. Long gone are the days when staff would be given a company credit card and allowed to book everything themselves.

    However, it would be very difficult to get started in the business on your own without any prior experience as you would need a portfolio of clients as well as good contacts with suppliers.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 5th Jul 18, 4:20 PM
    • 18,758 Posts
    • 7,871 Thanks
    richardw
    I just don!!!8217;t think there!!!8217;s money in it.
    If you fancy a computer and phone at the kitchen table kind of self employed sales role, consider being a specialist recruitment consultant.
    Get a job at one of the majors, learn from it, then go on your own.
    When the job market goes quiet at certain times of the year, take your holiday.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • seashore22
    • By seashore22 5th Jul 18, 6:41 PM
    • 1,141 Posts
    • 2,575 Thanks
    seashore22
    I think the op is either going bankrupt or is in the process of going bankrupt. I'm not sure how this is going to work.
    • lea2012
    • By lea2012 5th Jul 18, 9:53 PM
    • 647 Posts
    • 735 Thanks
    lea2012
    Whilst most of us on this site are capable of shopping around and will do our research, not everyone does. We wouldn't be on Mse if we were happy to overspend.
    I've lost count of the number of times I've looked for holidays, flights or hotels got friends and family members as they know I like looking for a good deal and they don't have time.
    I don't think there's a career in it for me, despite having several years of experience in the industry, but I could see how someone could make pocket money from it if they wanted to charge a fee for their services.
    Another option for the OP is to look at affiliate sales, where she could make commission from sales. Hot UK Deals and Holiday Pirates work in this way.
    Lea :confused:
    • koalakoala
    • By koalakoala 6th Jul 18, 8:21 AM
    • 92 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    koalakoala
    I can't see there's much money in it.

    I'm one of those people that used a travel consultant to plan a 3 week trip to China and the price was nearly 15k for 4 of us - then went away and booked everything myself and it was 10k
    Originally posted by anna_1977

    So you needed help to plan?
    • anna_1977
    • By anna_1977 6th Jul 18, 2:03 PM
    • 740 Posts
    • 1,014 Thanks
    anna_1977
    So you needed help to plan?
    Originally posted by koalakoala
    Not to plan as such, more the recommended places to stay and the logistics - we gave them the 6 cities we wanted to visit and they planned the best route - all for free - I then went online with their itinerary and booked it all myself
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