Joystar has launched a new enterprise hosting program for small and mid-sized travel agencies.Agency Advantage is a customizable business solution designed to increase
agency members’ revenues and lower their operational costs.
“When the perennially bankrupt and traumatized airlines stopped paying
commissions and consumers began migrating to online agencies for flights
and hotels, many predicted the demise of the travel agent community.
Indeed, thousands of travel agencies did close their doors,” said William
Alverson, CEO of Joystar, “after three years of consolidation and
closures, the industry is experiencing an upturn, especially in the
complex leisure products which include cruises, packages, and group
travel,” he added.
As Savvy travel agents are adapting and re-branding, a new business model
is emerging—home-based travel agent hosting and IT outsourcing for
small and mid-size travel agencies. There are roughly 20,000 small and
mid-sized agencies in America with sales between $1 million and $5 million
dollars. Of the estimated 100,000 travel agents here in the U.S., 15,000
have already moved to home-based operations.
Independent agents and agency owners are looking for ways to increase
revenues, reduce costs, and streamline operations. Both of these travel
selling groups are becoming more reliant on technology and the Internet.
“Joystar relieves our agency partners of their non-revenue producing tasks
freeing them to do what they do best - sell travel,” commented Alverson.
The benefits of Agency Advantage include: No start-up cost or annual
renewal fee; Fixed, low monthly fee; Consumer travel Website; Agents
only extranet; 100% commissions, overrides, fees and mark-ups; Stock
options; Consolidator booking engine; Free Vacation.com consortium
membership; Aggregating sales volume to obtain greater buying power and
commissions; ARC/IATAN ticketing; IATAN and CLIA ID cards to qualified
professionals; All airline reservations systems (Amadeus, Apollo, Sabre,
Worldspan); Direct-mail marketing campaigns.
In addition, members will have access to the industry’s most advanced
booking engines empowering them to book flights, Web fares, car rentals,
hotel reservations, cruises, vacations, insurance, and other travel
“We are the hands-down choice for serious professionals that want to
flourish in this exciting time in our industry. When travel agents were
complaining about Expedia, Travelocity and Hotels.com, they should have
been buying their stock. Expedia and Hotels.com experienced incredible
price appreciation before being acquired by Barry Diller led, Interactive
Corp. This is clearly the best time to be part of the travel industry.
With our lucrative pay plan and generous stock options, our agents have a
real opportunity to change their lives,” said Alverson.
Home-based travel agents are the fastest growing segment of the travel
industry. Today, there are over 14,000 professional home-based travel
agents representing an estimated $7.6 billion in leisure travel sales
annually. While online travel is growing, it still only represents 16% of
all travel booked. Travel agents are still the dominant force in travel
distribution, especially in the high-grossing products including
vacations, cruises, groups and honeymoons. A recent study concluded that
nine out of ten people who cruised last year, made their reservation with
the help of an experienced agent.
“We provide all of our agents with a comprehensive suite of tools &
resources to help them succeed. Included in all of the Company’s hosting
programs is a personalized consumer travel booking website, access to the
Company’s state-of-the-art “Agent Only” Extranet and “live” toll-free
“Our short-term goal is to be hosting 1,000 professional home based travel
agents (each averaging $300,000 in annual bookings) by the end of 2005.
That would put us at a run-rate of $300 million dollars per years in
sales.” Alverson stated, “Ultimately, we believe this model alone could
generate $1.5 billion in annual bookings for Joystar.”
Our hosting models for professional home-based agents will complement
Agent Advantage, our program for part-time agents. In this model, I
believe we can enroll 50,000 members (each generating an average of
$10,000 in annual bookings) by the end of 2005,” said Alverson. To ensure
the success of all of our members we will assign our part-time and novice
agents to an experienced home-based agent. Revenues from
corporate-assigned sub-agents will be split equally between the referral
agent, the booking agent, and Joystar.