ASTA has released the 2016 edition of its Independent Agents Report. Based on second half 2015 survey data from members of ASTA’s sister association the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA), the report offers insight into trends in the operations, host agency and franchise relationships, GDS usage, commission structures and sales and revenue data within the independent agents community.
“At 20,000 and growing, the independent agent community is a critical part of our industry and understanding how they run their businesses is top of mind for host agencies and suppliers alike,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA President & CEO.
Key findings of the report include:
NACTA member agents identified commission split, supplier relationships and reputation as the top factors that go into choosing a host agency.
Among independent agents, direct GDS usage is rare. NACTA members primarily use supplier websites and the phone to book travel for their clients.
6 in 10 NACTA member agents reported increased sales and revenues in 2015 compared to 2014.
NACTA member agents, on average, possess 16 years of industry experience.
Over 4 in 10 independent agents (44%) are hiring either employees or engaging independent contractors to keep up with demand.
“As the independent agent community continues to grow, industry suppliers are allocating more resources trying to better engage these travel sellers,” said Ann Chamberlin, NACTA President and ASTA Senior Vice President, Operations.
The 47-page report is available for purchase by ASTA/NACTA members (with a discounted member price) and non-members at ASTA.org/ResearchReports.