What is a Host Agency


If you have researched joining a travel agency or starting your own, you’ve probably read “host travel agency” a good bit. Becoming a travel agent, or as we say travel advisor, may seem pretty straight forward, but when you research you realize there is so much more to know. So what is a host agency? We share all the details below. 


With the rise of the Internet, many brick-and-mortar travel agencies went the way of the dinosaurs. These travel agents provided more transactional services for clients rather than expertise. Today’s travel advisors do more than book hotels — they use first-hand knowledge and their global contacts to design custom itineraries that you can’t find on Google. 

This new business model allowed for the home-based travel advisor. These entrepreneurs open their own travel agencies and affiliate with a host agency as an independent contractor. They are then able to gain access to the many resources of the host agency that allow them to build a successful business. 


The host agency acts an umbrella for the independent contractors (ICs). While all the ICs in the host agency have their own businesses, travel suppliers see them as one company, resulting in many benefits that you’ll see below. The host agency also offers accounting, marketing, and technical support, although the level of support varies between host agencies. 


There are many benefits of using a host travel agency! Below are three key benefits, but read a more extensive list here


Vendors recognize the ICs in a host agency as one business, so the host agency as a whole has a higher volume of sales. That means that the agency can negotiate higher commission levels with top partners, and you will be paid more! Even if you are with an agency that has a commission split, you still take home more:

  • $10,000 booking with 10% commission = $1000 for you
  • $10,000 booking with 15% commission = $1500. At 75%, you get $1125! 

You started your own travel agency to sell travel, not to do accounting or marketing. A host agency can provide crucial support that allows you to spend time doing what you love (selling travel!) rather than chasing down your commissions. 


When you’re new to the travel industry, you might specialize in a certain destination but clients will want to travel all over the world. That’s when joining a host agency with a global network of travel partners is key. You can ask your trusted partners for advice and look to other advisors who have personally been to the destination. Plus, you clients will feel like they have a friend of a friend everywhere they travel! 

Click here for more information about the Brownell Hosting Program.