Travel agency is one of the most important organizations in the tourism industry.
These organizations play a significant and crucial role in the entire process of developing and promoting tourism in the country or at a destination.
In the same measure,
Travel agents are an important part of the tourism private sector. A travel agent is a person who has a thorough knowledge of the tourism product – the destination, the method of travel, the accommodation, the climate of the place of travel, and other areas of the service sector.
A travel agent may be an individual /firm or corporation which is commonly known as a travel agency.
An agency is the office of travel agent or organization where all travel goods and services are assembled and coordinated for the smooth conduct of travel agency business.
What is Travel Agency?
A travel agency is a retailer or public service provider that provides travel and tourism-related services to the general public on behalf of accommodation or travel suppliers to offer different kinds of traveling packages for each destination.
If we shorten the definition of travel agency:
– A business that helps to make arrangements for people who want to travel.
– An agency engaged in selling and arranging transportation, accommodations, tours, and trips for travelers.
Some travel agencies may not have offices in a particular area or they may act as general sales agents for airlines.
Basically, the main job of this travel agency is to act as an agent, selling travel products and services on behalf of the supplier. But, they do not keep inventory in the hand unless they have pre-booked hotel rooms or cabins on a cruise ship for a group travel event such as a wedding, honeymoon, or another group event.
History of Travel Agency
Cox & Kings is the first travel agency in modern history and it’s founded in 1758. Cox & Kings is the world’s oldest travel agency.
In 1840, the Abreu Agency was established in Porto by Bernardo Abreu, becoming the world’s first agency to open its services to the public.
What travel agency do?
The travel agency assists in all types of travel activities and a prospective travel agency is one which makes arrangements of travel tickets (air, rail, road, and sea); travel documents (passports, visa, and other documents required to travel); accommodation, entertainment or outdoor recreational activities, and other travel-related services from principle suppliers. It may also secure travel insurance, foreign currency for traveling people.
What is a Tour guide?
A tour guide or a tourist guide is a person who provides assistance, information on cultural, historical, and contemporary heritage to people on organized sightseeing and individual clients at educational establishments, religious and historical sites such as; museums, and at various venues of tourist attraction resorts.
Types of Travel Agencies
There are two main types of travel agencies in the travel and tourism industry:
- Retail Travel Agency
- Wholesale Travel Agency
Retail Travel Agency
They sell various travel-related services directly to their customers. They act on behalf of the main service provider/suppliers. Such as hotels, airlines, cruises, railways, coach operators, etc. They receive a commission from the service and may add mark-up in return. Thus, the travel agency earns its income from both the suppliers and the mark-up.
Wholesale Travel Agency
They plan, organize, and sell package tours through a travel agency or directly to the customers. Some travel agencies are both retail and wholesale. For eg Thomas Cook.
They purchase the product from the main providers and sell them directly to the retail travel agency or customers. Therefore, the wholesale travel agency act as a middle man between the main providers and the retail distributors.
All types of travel agencies in details;
These two types of travel agents have different parts inside, I will explain how they work below:
They organize and manage all kinds of recreation tours, free individual travel (FITs), group individual travel (GITs), corporate travel.
They organize this kind of tour for inbound and domestic travelers. This type of travel agency operates on various work, such as the recreation, inbound, outbound, trade fair, accounts, and so on.
They handle corporate travel needs. So, such agencies are found in business hubs and only serve business travel.
Therefore, walk-in or individual travel are not served by these agencies. The qualified staff look at the airline, hotel, vehicle, paperwork, etc.
It is a branch office of a full-fledged travel agency. They work on the premises of a corporate office. It handles all the travel needs of the corporate office.
Special Interest Travel Agency
They are specialized in establishing special interest groups’ tour programs. Such as adventure, wildlife, religion, etc.
Online Travel Agency (OTA)
They are the latest trend for travel agents. For eg makemytrip.com is known as online travel agents (OTAs) or e-retailers.
Therefore, these web portals enable consumers to obtain data and make the booking online.
List of Top 10 Travel Agencies in The World – By Companies Earning
Who is the best travel agency in the world? The following is a list of the most earning and top ten travel agencies ranked by sales generated in USD billion, which includes both travel agencies and corporate travel management companies.
Top 10 Travel Agencies
Here are the name of top travel companies in the world;
Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington
Sales: $99 billion
Expedia Group, Inc. is an American online travel shopping company for consumer and small business travel. Expedia Group, which owns Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Vrbo, Trivago, Orbitz, Travelocity, CarRentals.com, and Hotwire.com, among a plethora of other brands, reported $107.9 billion in sales last year.
More than 40 percent of transactions across the group’s consumer OTA brands were booked via mobile, with total app transactions jumping more than 40 percent year over year.
2. Booking Holdings
Headquarters: Norwalk, Connecticut
Sales: $92.7 billion
Booking Holdings Inc. is an American travel technology company organized in Delaware and based in Norwalk, Connecticut, that owns and operates several travel fare aggregators and travel fare metasearch engines including namesake and flagship Booking.com, Agoda.com, Priceline.com, Rentalcars.com, Kayak.com, Cheapflights, Momondo, and OpenTable. It operates websites in about 40 languages and 200 countries.
Reporting $96.4 billion in gross travel bookings in 2019, Booking Holdings remains number two on the Travel Week Power List for 2020.
3. American Express Global Business Travel
Headquarters: New Jersey, United States
Sales: $33.7 billion
American Express Global Business Travel is a multinational travel and meetings program management company. American Express Global Business Travel elevating its business to $42.6 billion in sales, which is good enough for third on Travel Weekly’s 2020 Power List.
4. BCD Travel
Headquarters: Utrecht, Netherlands
Sales: $27.1 billion
BCD Travel is a provider of global corporate travel management. BCD Travel provides travel management services in as many as 109 countries, with US$27.5 billion in total sales last year and a combined worldwide workforce of almost 14,900. BCD Travel is part of the BCD Group.
Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sales: $25 billion
CWT is a travel management company that manages business travel, meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions, and handles event management. CWT, rebranded from Carlson Wagonlit Travel, remains in the top five for 2020 with sales nearing $25 billion last year. Founded nearly three decades ago, the business-to-business travel management platform offers business travel, meetings, and events management across six continents.
6. Flight Centre
Headquarters: Brisbane, Australia
Sales: $16 billion
Flight Centre Travel Group is an Australian travel agency. It was founded in 1982. In 2019 which saw corporate sales increase 30 percent over 2018. Boasting $16 billion in sales last year, the successful agency works with nearly 20,800 hosted agents who were responsible for $56 million in sales.
7. Travel Leaders Group
Headquarters: New York City, New York
Sales: $7.12 billion
Internova Travel Group, formerly Travel Leaders Group, ranks seventh again in 2020 with nearly $7.5 billion in sales last year, $3.9 billion of which was generated by the group’s 10,000 hosted agents.
8. American Express Travel
Headquarters: New York City, New York
Sales: $6.27 billion
American Express Travel also stayed put on the 2020 Power List, coming in eighth place with 2019 sales nearing $7 billion. Last year was a busy one for the company, which raised air and lodging program value and implemented new booking options for card members as well as acquired a pair of digital platforms in LoungeBuddy and Resy.
9. CTM – Corporate Travel Management
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
Sales: $5 billion
Corporate Travel Management (CTM) reporting last year they have done $5 billion-plus in sales. The Virtuoso member also commemorated a quarter-century in business travel and completed its acquisition of university and corporate travel specialist Corporate Travel Planners.
10. Direct Travel
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
Direct Travel is a leading travel management company, which posted $5.8 billion in sales and acquired more than a half-dozen companies, including Professional Travel, which ranked 31st on Travel Weekly’s 2019 Power List with $404.8 million in sales.
Above are the top ten tour operators.
List of Top Travel Agencies in the World – Complete list
Travelers know that the best tour agencies in the world are like magicians. They will help you enjoy your travel time in a variety of ways; For example, you can stay in various advanced restaurants and eat tempting or mind-boggling food, experience wildlife somewhere, see something of personal preservation somewhere and visit the top museum for hours on end. Also one day they may surprise you with a secluded beach, lunch on a helicopter ride, or a walking safari.
These depend on what kind of trip you want to take and from which agency you are taking such a package.
Note: This travel agencies names list is compiled by considering the travel experiences of travelers from around the world each year – readers can share their views on top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Rated tour operators and safari outfitters based on destination, activity, accommodation, food, and overall quality.
Some of the companies are spread all over the world and have almost any style of travel. They are also adept at celebrating and planning multitasking trips, where expectations are often sky-high.
If you want to guarantee a one-time life experience, you can contact these famous travel agencies. Find the complete list below and the details of what makes each company so special.
To qualify for listing, companies must have a minimum sales of $ 100 million, generating at least 15% of sales volume in the United States.
Travel Weekly website publish this travel agency name list:
2. BOOKING HOLDINGS
3. AMERICAN EXPRESS GLOBAL BUSINESS TRAVEL
4. BCD TRAVEL
5. CWT (FORMERLY CARLSON WAGONLIT TRAVEL)
6. FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL GROUP
7. INTERNOVA TRAVEL GROUP (FORMERLY TRAVEL LEADERS GROUP)
8. AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL
9. DIRECT TRAVEL
11. CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
13. TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT
15. OVATION TRAVEL GROUP
16. OMEGA WORLD TRAVEL
17. WORLD TRAVEL HOLDINGS
18. WORLD TRAVEL
19. INTERNATIONAL CRUISE & EXCURSIONS (ICE)
21. TRAVEL EDGE
22. CHRISTOPHERSON ANDAVO TRAVEL
23. ADELMAN TRAVEL
24. CRUISE PLANNERS, AN AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL REPRESENTATIVE
25. ADTRAV TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
26. FOX WORLD TRAVEL
27. KEY TRAVEL
28. TRAVEL STORE
29. SHORT’S TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
30. AVOYA TRAVEL
31. TRAVEL EXPERTS
32. GLOBAL CREW LOGISTICS
33. TRAVEL PLANNERS INTERNATIONAL
34. ATLAS TRAVEL & TECHNOLOGY
36. VALERIE WILSON TRAVEL
38. GANT TRAVEL
38. KINTETSU INTERNATIONAL EXPRESS (USA)
40. KHM TRAVEL GROUP
41. BALBOA TRAVEL
43. GLOBAL MARINE TRAVEL
44. UNIGLOBE TRAVEL PARTNERS
45. TRAVELINK, AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL
46. CONLIN TRAVEL
47. CAIN TRAVEL
48. HESS CORPORATE TRAVEL
49. EXECUTIVE TRAVEL
50. WORLD TRAVEL SERVICE
51. COVINGTON TRAVEL
52. SMALL WORLD VACATIONS
These travel company names list collected from Travel Weekly.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, there were 82,000 people who worked as travel agents for their full-time jobs. That number is projected to decrease by 26% over the next 10 years.
However, job prospects should be best for travel agents who specialize in specific destinations or particular types of travelers. In 2019, the median salary was $40,660 per year, compared to the median annual wage for all workers which was $39,810.
As the world’s economic prosperity grows, the travel industries will flood people all over the world and businessmen are working on the advancement of this organization and they are doing their best to meet the needs of the customers.
The world’s top travel companies are hopeful that they will be able to take the industry to new heights.