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Travel & Tourism: Agency or Freelance?

1. Which is better, and agency employee or an independent contractor, really depends on the individual. 250 WORDS PLEASE

2. Many agents and agencies sell only a few suppliers, called preferred suppliers. Is this a good idea? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages? 250 WORDS PLEASE

3. whether a website on the Internet is vital for the success of a home-based travel business or not. 250 WORDS PLEASE

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Contemplating Travel Options

Agency or Independent Contractor?

Most travelers and tourists who seek to travel in places that they only ever read about or see in advertising posters and magazines usually use the services of an agency: Thomas Cook for instance. The advantage of agencies are that they have built a series of travel networks globally and that arrangements for package tours and for individually designed travels are easier to put together, usually within the client's price range. Agencies are specialists in well-trodden tourist destinations and have specialized in varied sorts of travel arrangements - for the budget conscious, for corporate retreats, for weddings, for sports, for nature and adventure. The likes of STA Travel for example specialize in providing the most affordable travel arrangements for students and for young people with their 'kind' of travel adventure, budget and choices in mind at destinations that excite them. They can also arrange volunteer travel and gap year travels. It is not only the budget or specialization that attracts people to agencies - it is the fact that agencies are corporate entities and therefore when contracts are signed and arrangements paid for - said agencies are required by law to fulfill their end of the bargain giving the client that certain confidence in the arrangement. But package tours and agency arranged tours usually have a lot of middlemen in between and being stuck in a tour bus is something not many tourists and travelers appreciate. Independent contractors are usually hired for specialist travelling - like for example, safaris in Africa or as guides in the least trodden places tourists do not usually seek to visit.

In Mongolia for example, independent contractors are far more efficient than agencies as independent contractors use their own personal network to make travel arrangements. There are only a few agencies in the capital, Ulaan Baatar and as Mongolian tourism is not as profitable and busy as Thailand tourism, to see Mongolia means doing independent travel using the independent contractors via the traveler's own personal arrangement. People who seek to 'travel outside' the tourist path are two kinds - those who find fulfillment in doing so, and others who must as part of their work - journalists, researchers, surveyors, businessmen, ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses and provides concise answers to the questions indicated in the original posting (see problem) and expands the discussion by providing practical examples as well as references. The solution follows the APA-format and would benefit students studying Tourism related studies. A word file is attached for easy printing.