ASTA officially released its research report with the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) examining the ins and outs of the growing independent travel agency market. Among its findings, the 2009 NACTA Independent Agents Report shows several shifts in the independent agent population, namely an increasing number of independent agents who work out of their homes, a figure which has grown from 77.9 percent in 2006 in to 85.1 percent in 2009.
“With an increasing number of travel agents striking out on their own and working from home, it is essential that we have an in-depth knowledge of what drives this market segment,” said ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo. “For suppliers especially, understanding what motivates this group and what their needs are is critical.”
Among the survey’s other findings were:
* The average NACTA independent agent has been in the travel business for 11.9 years
* 57.2 percent of respondents indicated that at least 15 percent of their agency is dedicated to cruises
* 51.7 percent of respondents use a host agency
* Almost a third of respondents reported that their gross sales and revenue were up compared to the same time period in 2008
* Royal Caribbean and Carnival were the top cruise lines used by respondents, which was also true in 2008. Globus was the top choice for escorted tour operator, while GoGo was the top tour provider used
The report profiles independent agents and provides data on their experience in the travel industry, looking specifically at how they book travel and split commissions, as well as their revenue share across travel segments, and more.
ASTA members may purchase the entire report for $159. Non-members pay $299. For additional information, please contact [email protected] or visit the research page on ASTA.org.