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Travel Agency

Travel Agency is a service organisation and it provide places of interest, customs and health regulations, information of climatic conditions, clothing requirments etc.
The travel agency represents various airlines, domestic and international steamship companies, railway and other transport companies and hotels. And the various agencies pay the travel agency a fixed percentage of commission on the price of services sold by the travel agency.
A travel agency generally should have the following requirments
1. Agency location should be preferably in business area, attractive in appearance and easily accessible in general public.
2. The agency should be able to demonstrate its desire and ability to promote travel in a professional manner.
3. The agency should have competent staff with professional skills to be able to quote fares, itineraries or schedules, make reservation and also issue and arrange issuance of tickets
4. The agency should have adequate finance
5. The agency should be able to obtain required government licence applicable in India. Travel agents may directly offers documentation services they are required to be in the approved list of the regional passport office in the area of its operation and reserve bank of India.
6. The travel agency should have the approval of various conferences to the present and sell products and sevices to its members. Various conferences from which the travel agents require approval are the following
a) Traffic conference of International air transport association
b) Air Traffic Conference (only in USA)
c) Indian Airlines (only in India)
d) Far East Pacific Conference
Travel agency in India
In the year 1954 the Government introduced a system of granting recognition to travel agents. The rules are the following.
1. No firm shall be granted recognition unless which has been engaged actively in handling tourist traffic at least one year before the date of recognition
2. Firms granted reorganization shall be entitled to such rights and privileges as may be granted by the Government from time to time and shall abide by seveal noms and condition of recognition.
3. Firms granted recognization shall undertake to maintain under the charge of full time members of their charge who should apart from issuing railway ticket be in the position ot give up to the date information which is accurate regarding transport and accommodation facilities air and customs regulations and general information about travel.
4. The recognisation may be extended to the will fo the country of betimited to particular region.
5. Firms granted recognition shall undertake to employ only guides approved by the Department of Tourism
6. All recognized agencies shall furnish early statements of their activities and such other information in regard to the volume of tourist traffic actually handle and other relevant matters
7. The decision of the government in the matter of recognition can be find and it receives the right to extend or withdraw recognition at any time
Functions of Travel Agencies
The major functions of the travel agency may be classified as follows
1. Provision of travel information
2. Preparation of itineraries
3. Liason with suppliers of various services and the clients of the agency
4. Planning and costing tours
5. Ticketing which includes reservation and accommodation in hotels and settlement of accounts of the clients
6. Provision of foreign currencies
7. Insurance both personal and accident and of lugguage

Source of Income

The travel agencies source of Income is the commission which it receives from various sources
1. Commission on the sales he makes on his principle services. The main principles include an airline, a hotel company, a shipping company and a tour operator
2. Commission earned from services such as travel insurance and charges make for such services as travellers cheque
3. Income earned from the short term investment of money received from his customers and deposits and advance payments.
4. Profit from the sale of his own tours if he operates as a tour operator

Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI)
The travel agents decided to form an association on all India basis in the year 1951. The first name was India’s Travel Association. The main objective of the association is to safeguard and to protet the interest of its members by way of having constant dialogue with concerned agencies. TAAI has its registered office at Mumbai and regional offices at Kolkota, Delhi and Chennai. The Association publishes a monthly magazine “Travel News” for the benefit of its members. The annual convention of the association is attended by a large number of representatives from travel trade both government as well as non Government.

American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
ASTA is the leading professional society of travel agents established in New York in 1931. The Original name was American Steamship and tourist agents association. And the present name was adopted in 1944. It was established to introduce faster programmes for the development of travel industry and to promote an official practice to provide a public connection for travel agents. The membership consist of travel agents, hotels, steamship companies. ASTA has 16000 members governing all segments of travel industry. The society has membership in over 120 countries. There are two types of members ; active and allied. Active members are years round travel agents or tour operators. Allied members include airline and steamship companies, government tourist offices, hotels and other organisation engaged in travel industry or associate industries, membership advantages include education and training in ASTA. Comprehensive travel courses and seminars. Guidance in solving many business and trade problems are also given from ASTA headquarters. The society has 28 chapters in USA and Canada and another 28 chapters overseas. The new developments in the industry are made available to the members through newsletters.


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