The first step is to start researching the cruise travel home business industry. Check out all websites and books published by National Organizations affiliated with travel and cruise agents, such as the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents. These resources will give you information on affiliation with a parent travel agency as an independent contractor, and steps on how to pursue a cruise travel home business from the ground up.
Either way you decide to go, it is best to create a brief general cruise travel home business plan. You can download a sample business plan from the Small Business Administration website, or go to the local office for a copy. This plan will help you understand what you will need to do to be successful and how to budget for profit. This plan is dynamic and ever changing and should be updated frequently.
Becoming affiliated with a large travel agency gives your cruise travel home business a few benefits. Some of the benefits include the reservation software training, support, updates, newsletters, and industry best practices. They have established industry connections all you need to do is find travelers.
Your cruise travel agency will usually take off quickly, when associated with a large parent travel agency. You do not have to worry about setting prices for your services either. The parent company will set the prices and you will receive up to 50% of each reservation you book. This takes the anxiety and frustration out of worrying about profits and losses you have to contend with when setting your own prices.
The other option requires more work. You research reservation software, and talk to companies within the industry to establish connections. This option can have a higher start up cost and will take longer to show a profit for two main reasons. Until you get comfortable with the pricing of your services, you will have a trial and error phase that can create losses to your cruise travel agency. But once you get the hang of it, the profit is yours. Second, you have to contact hotels, car rental companies, airlines, cruise lines, and such and build relationships, which can take time.
However, it is not important which way you decide to start your cruise travel agency. You will receive benefits as well as profits. These benefits may be better if you work with a travel agency but you get benefits either way. These benefits include up to 50% discounts on hotels and vacation packages, up to 70% discount on cruises, and much more.