Why Do Travel Professionals Make the Move To Broking?
While everyone makes the move for different reasons, we do see the same reasons crop up time and again. Of course, during these COVID times, some other reasons have been forced upon many of the travel industry.
- The need for flexibility around working hours.
- A better work/life balance (this is doubly true for our brokers with young families).
- Wanting to be your own boss
We can be confident the pandemic has accelerated the evolution of the NZ Travel Industry significantly. We, at NZ Travel Brokers, have always believed the home-based model to be the most sustainable and appropriate for the future. Take the USA, where bricks & mortar agencies are scarce and home-based agents dominate the landscape (approx 70%-80% of all USA travel agents are homes-based) of travel – eventually the same will apply in the rest of the world and that transition has, in all likelihood, just zoomed ahead in recent months.
Unquestionably, there will be a swing back to travel professionals, both home-based brokers and bricks & mortar agents, coming out of this pandemic. Consumers will want the assistance and comfort an expert can offer them when making their travel plans, more so than ever. That, coupled with the fact we are all much more flexible, streamlined and efficient than in the past, gives us great optimism for the future.
What Our Brokers Say...
My eldest son who is nearly 12 was born with a congenital heart defect. I had the option of coming back full time or not at all (by a previous employer). Obviously, I chose the “not at all” option, as I took time off to care for him.
After a while, I felt like I could start to work again and the best option was to become a travel broker, where I could work from home and look after and be near my family. It was a no-brainer.
My first month I did one booking and thought I had struck the jackpot! I took ownership of them and gave it my all (and still do).
Brokering really suits me, it allows me the flexibility to look after my children if they are sick, assist with school trips etc.Adrienne WiltonNZ Travel Broker - Kapiti Coast/Wellington
My husband was commuting to Wellington for 2 years and I had 2 young primary school kids, brokering fitted the lifestyle requirements.
But the flexibility was a huge attraction... and being my own boss after years of being told what to do and how to do it. No staff was a massive attraction after years of managerial/supervisor roles.Sally LochheadNZ Travel Broker – Havelock North
I knew a few people who’d made the move to brokering and loved it!
I was ready to move away from being a team leader and all the things that involves; such as staff training, meetings etc.Mandy McQuilkin NZ Travel Broker - Auckland
How Do Brokers Fit In To The NZ Market?
Current trends, even before COVID, indicate a strong movement away from the traditional high street travel agency shop towards the self-employed model of Travel Brokers working independently from a home office. This trend is not only represented in New Zealand but across the world.
The number of Travel Brokers in New Zealand has steadily grown in recent years and is the travel industry’s fastest growing sector confirming a significant shift in the way that travel is sold.
TAANZ has been quoted as saying that Brokers were a good response to the changing industry. “Sometimes they can have direct contact with people who cannot make it into the agency, providing them with that human touch and that is what we do really well in our industry. Why should we be constrained by bricks and mortar?”
This trend is not only represented in New Zealand but across the world.
Travel Brokers have essentially forsaken the security of a regular salary for the freedom of self-employment. Some have built up loyal and enduring client bases over their years in the travel industry and make the change in the knowledge they will fare no worse financially, in fact usually substantially better, than they did as a paid employee, whilst others embark on the exciting challenge of developing a client base from scratch.
Flexibility is key…
The broking industry is well populated with female agents that have previously left the travel industry to start a family and have chosen broking as a way to balance their work and the commitments of a young family. Fed up with standard pay rates and inflexible working hours, women are shunning the traditional workplace and striking out on their own, building businesses that offer flexible working hours and favourable conditions.
New Zealand women are becoming self-employed at twice the rate of men, according to research, which has found that they’re often motivated to leave paid jobs and work for themselves to achieve flexibility and manage their work and home commitments.