What Is A Travel Agent, Tour Operator, Or Online Travel Agency?

Every great travel company has to determine what type of travel company they want to be. Below we discuss the different ways travel is sold and the associated business operation name/description.1.) Tour Operator – Traditional company that contracts hotel rooms, transportation, and additional excursions/events for its guests. Tour operators market directly to their guests and allow travel agents to re-sell their tour packages for a commission. The tour operator is the vendor and the travel agent is the sales agent selling to the general public. Start-up capital needed – minimum $20,000.002. Traditional Travel Agency – A traditional travel agency arranges travel for their guests and re-sell tour operators products. An example of a travel agency business model is Liberty Travel They re-sell prearranged hotel and flight packages arranged by tour operators. Traditional travel agencies normally sell face-to-face with their clients, over the phone, or via email. Start-up capital needed – minimum $6,000.003. Online Travel Agency and/or OTA – These agencies are 100% online. They contract hotels directly or through a third party wholesaler. They then use a direct connection with the airlines to package flights and hotels together. Typically they offer a contact/call center to aid people booking online, however in most cases they book 75% of their business online. Examples of this model include Expedia.com, Booking.com & CheapCaribbean.com. These companies started very small and have grown to be massive companies, and seem to be the largest sale of travel related products worldwide. Start-up capital needed – minimum $100,000.004. Travel Affiliate Programs – This is the newest model, with the least amount of capital required to start, and zero direct customer interaction. Online travel agencies and tour operators pay affiliate websites to advertise their travel deals/specials and when a potential customer visits the affiliate travel website and clicks on an offer, the tour operator or online travel agency pays the travel affiliate between $0.10 – $4.00 for the “click” when a potential guest leaves the affiliate site to be taken to the tour operator or online travel agencies website. Some tour operators and online travel agencies offer up to 10% commission if a guest gets to their websites via an ad they clicked on located on your travel affiliate site and completes and pays for a reservation. Start-up costs – $0 – $4000.00We’re not partial to one model over any other. However we should point out that the affiliate model is the best way for someone with limited resources, who wants no customer service liability, a simple (nearly hands off) approach, and the fastest way to earn money. If money is your motivator and you want to earn it quickly, the affiliate model is the way to go.In our next articles we’ll talk about developing your travel business idea and which of the four models might work best for you.Learn more at http://www.yourtravelstartup.com/travel-start-up-blog

Online Travel Deals – Tips to Save Big on Your Airfares and Hotels

Are you bitten by the travel bug but are reluctant to travel more frequently due to rising travel costs? Do not worry, as there is a plethora of attractive travel deals online that are a big help in reducing various travel costs so that you can save more money for your next trip.There are many reasons why service providers and online travel agents want to offer such deals to their customers. Among these reasons are relatively low demand, weather and climate conditions and the rolling out of brand new promotions.Whatever their reasons, there is no better time than now to start going online to research and take advantage of these cheap travel deals as the Internet has made it much easier to search for and compare the rates offered by different sources. I shall now offer some tips how you can go about finding the best deals for airlines and accommodation, two travel components which often take up a huge chunk of our travel expenditure.The first step in getting the best deals for travel is to allocate your budget for hotels, airfare and other aspects of your travel. To do this, you have to be clear what the purpose of your travel is and how much would be appropriate to spend on each aspect so as to fit your travel purpose neatly. For example, if you are planning a fun-filled resort break, you would have to apportion more funds towards the hotel and recreation categories.Hence, adjusting your expectations on what kinds of deals on specific travel components are low enough for you will go a long way in ensuring that you would not be disappointed with your chosen deal. This would also depend on whether you are geared more towards budget or luxury travel.To find discounted rates for hotels and airfares, you may want to visit a travel website that offers travel discounts for these aspects. This is to save you the trouble of having to visit multiple sites for them, and help you plan your bookings for both components in a hassle-free manner.Next, look out for any seasonal offers that may arise due to either low demand due to off-peak seasons, such as winter, or festive season promotions. However, be sure to check out the weather forecasts to make sure that your trip will not be ruined by harsh weather conditions.Many airlines and hotels also do not want to leave their seats or rooms empty hence they may offer last minute deals which can net you attractive savings. Last minute bookings, however, are generally only advisable if you are sure that the airlines and hotels are not overbooked during the period which you will be travelling.If you are travelling during peak seasons instead, you may want to book in advance as the best deals for the cheapest seats and rooms will be quickly taken up if you wait till the last minute to place your booking. Being flexible with your travel plans will certainly help as you can run a search for room rates or ticket prices spanning a greater range of dates. This will often reveal more travel deals than if you search for a specific date only.