Are You A Travel Agent or A Home-Based Agent?

Do you see a downside to being identifed as a home-based travel agent instead of simply as a travel agent? We asked this question in December and, if you check out the comments posted by readers, the answer appears to be no. So we have a few follow-up questions, and they come on the heels of Group Publisher John McMahon's recent column on the subject of what's in a name

First, take a look at some of John's main points:

*    Research estimates that the share of packaged tours and FITs for home-based agents is about 30 percent, cruises is 43 percent and air, car rentals and hotels is 19 percent and that this distribution channel accounts for about $9.7 billion in annual sales.

*    If a lawyer works out of his home and a real estate agent works from home, too, do they read home-based publications or attend events specifically for professionals working from home?

*    Howard Tanenbaum, vice president of sales at Club Med USA, says there’s no need to differentiate, asking, “Aren’t they all just travel agents?”

So we want to know: If you are a home-based agent, do you see the need to be segmented out and treated in a special manner when it comes to your business?

And, as John asks: Are your needs any different than those of a storefront travel agent? Besides picking a host agency to work with, are you any different from other travel agents?

We want to hear from you. Post a comment below. Write us on our Facebook page. Send a tweet to our Twitter page. Join the discussion at AgentNation, where all travel agents (home-based, independent or what) are welcome do interact with each other online.