Young Travel Agents Flock to Leisure

Millennial workers at a table
Photo by Getty/shironosov

With travel agent retirement on the rise, younger travel agents are increasingly entering the industry to sell leisure travel, according to the latest data from Hot Travel Jobs’ travel agent survey. The organization just released a breakdown of the data from its latest survey, which covers 2017, regarding the ages of travel agents.

According to the report, the percentage of travel agents in the 55+ age bracket increased between 2016 and 2017 by 7 percent, the largest increase recorded during that period. The 35 – 45 bracket, by contrast, declined the most, by 4 percent. The youngest age bracket measured by the report, 20 – 35, hovered around the lowest percentage, at 2 – 3 percent.

Breaking the data down by sector, however, Hot Travel Jobs found that younger agents tend to flock to leisure travel. Leisure travel among young agents is 7 to 8 percent higher than corporate travel agents or travel managers.

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That tracks with Hot Travel Jobs’ previous data on the subject, which showed that travel agents’ plans to retire increased in 2017 versus 2016. Overall plans increased 2 percent that year, with percentages of agents reporting that they plan to retire in two to five years or six to 10 years both on the rise.

The industry has been preparing for the coming retirement wave by focusing on consolidation, as many agency owners looking to retire or simply step down their roles will most likely be looking to sell their agencies. At its most recent EDGE Conference, Travel Leaders Network announced the launch of a new, dedicated Agency Marketplace website for agency owners looking to sell their agency. Aimed at matching buyers and sellers, the new website will allow owners looking to sell to list their agency, and set restrictions on the type of buyer the owners are looking for.

Even as older travel agents retire, younger agents have stepped up to make waves in the travel industry. For the past 10 years we’ve been profiling the top agents in our annual 30Under30 feature. The 11th and latest edition will debut in our August issue.

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