There are great advantages to being an independent travel agent, with what I believe is the impartiality you are able to give to customers including the widest breadth of product possible to cater that need, desire or recommendation.
Yes, it is quite right to be specialist – maybe cruise, activity, touring, it doesn’t matter, but that is not going to be right for everyone and even within those genres there is choice. Personally there maybe favourites, that might be quite true and naturally you would sell those companies who fit your requirements sometimes more than what suits your client. You might have favourites due to the relationship with a representative or loyalty to another member of staff, and those relationships matter.
The ability of selling small niche tour operators is extremely important, as they have the knowledge that we don’t have in highly specialist areas – especially to destinations or experiences off the beaten track. Although they are important to fill a gap in the market, it isn’t the whole market – and there are still many people out there who are looking for a standard package holiday – with great impartial service.
Being independent doesn’t always mean you can sell what you want, but instead sell what your customer wants.