At Newwest Travel, we want you to be informed so you can truly hit the ground running with your new travel business. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. If after reviewing this list, you still have questions, contact us or feel free to call our Membership Support Team at 1-800-661-7281
How long does it take to get started?
Once you complete our application, you’re generally only a few hours away from being able to start making travel reservations. When we receive your application, we begin setting up your online Agent Portal username and login. Once you are set up and linked with our accounting system, we will send you a confirmation email with your username and log-in instructions. Then you can begin your training.
How and where do I get customers?
While we do not give customers or “leads” to new agents, we teach you, (as part of our marketing training) how to develop your own clientele. In our training, we go in-depth on how to find and build a clientele with little to no expenses. Most new agents begin by selling to their friends and family, building out from there to their warm markets. This includes neighbours, co-workers, associates, and alumni. Our company’s strategy has always been to provide our agents with some of the highest commission payouts so that they have the funds to advertise or buy leads if they choose to do so.
How do I make money as a travel agent?
When you make travel bookings for yourself or your clients, our travel suppliers will pay a commission on the travel sale amount. The exact commission percentage can vary between 3% and 18%, with the average being around 13%. Whatever commission we receive we pay you 70% of that amount to you. For a more detailed explanation of our commission plan and an example, go to our travel agent commissions page.
How much money can I make as a travel agent?
Building a travel business requires hard work and time, but it can be very rewarding and profitable. Newwest Travel has agents that book travel for themselves and family members and make a few hundred dollars of extra income. We also have travel agents that work full-time and make over $5,000 a month. There is no standard, as everybody works at his or her own pace. The sky is truly the limit.
Will I be able to compete with Internet travel companies?
Usually this question is phrased “Are your prices competitive?” and the answer is “of course!” Our company and business model is one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry. Our agents have access to everything that any other agent or company would have, plus much more. Many of our travel suppliers will price match and you will have access to rates that are not available to the public. While our prices are definitely competitive, we encourage our agents to sell the personal service and expert guidance aspect of their business.
What are FAM trips and are they available to me?
A FAM (familiarization) trip is usually sponsored by a particular supplier for the purpose of agent training. A FAM trip allows you to tour popular resorts and visit destinations at some of the lowest prices available. These trips often help our agents increase their sales because after they have visited a particular resort or destination, they are able to share their firsthand experience with their clients. Because of Newwest Travel’s strong relationships with our Preferred Suppliers, we frequently offer FAM opportunities to our agents.
Can I get discounts on my own travel?
As a travel agent with Newwest Travel, you will have access to information that is not necessarily available to the general public. If you are flexible on your dates and destinations, you can travel at very affordable rates. (Example: Recently we had a promotion for a seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise for just $210 per person!) These types of savings are generally associated with FAM trips and are made available to agents for the purpose of training. In order to receive some discounts and participate in certain FAMs, you need to have either a CLIA or IATA identification card. Both cards are available to Newwest Travel Agents who qualify.
While discounted travel is one of the many perks of being a travel agent, Newwest Travel does not permit individuals to participate in our program solely for the purpose of obtaining discounts on personal travel.
Do I receive an ID card from Newwest Travel?
We DO NOT issue a “travel agent” ID card because these cards are not recognized by travel suppliers. Instead, we work closely with each agent to help them obtain their IATA and CLIA ID cards. These are the ONLY truly recognized ID cards in the industry. Keep in mind that an ID card is not necessary to sell travel as a travel agent.
How do I get an IATA card?
We follow the IATA guidelines for issuing the ID cards. IATA requires that you be “IATA Listed” for a minimum of six months. To get listed, we require that you have earned at least one commission check from Newwest Travel Ltd. The second requirement is that you are on track to earn a minimum of $5,000 in gross commissions in the previous twelve (12) months. Since our agents earn some of the highest commissions in the industry, they are able to earn their IATA card much faster.
How do I get a CLIA card?
In order to apply for a CLIA card, you must have at least 1-2 cruise bookings with Newwest Travel. You will also be required to complete and pass the exam for at least one annual recurrent CLIA live training seminar or CLIA online training program not previously submitted prior to applying for your 2016 card. 2016 ID Card applicants are required to be enrolled in, or to have achieved a designation (ACC, MCC, ECC, ECCS) in CLIA’s Cruise Counselor Certification Program. You are then required to complete an application and submit a processing fee, along with a passport photo.
Can I sell airline tickets?
While you can sell airline tickets as a travel agent, we don’t encourage you to focus all of your business on selling air. In May of 2002, the airline industry stopped paying commissions to travel agents. Most companies now charge a small service fee on all airline tickets. You are able to add a service fee of $25, $50, $100 or whatever the market will bear to the price of your client’s ticket. This applies to both domestic and international air travel.
How do I get prices and make reservations?
Once you are on board with us, our team will immediately mobilize to help you get registered with our various suppliers. Unlike other companies, we encourage you to establish relationships with these travel suppliers. There is no additional cost to get registered; however, we do have procedures to follow. This registration will give you access to the suppliers’ travel agent-only websites where you can research prices, specials and promotions. Many of these suppliers allow you to book your clients’ travel directly through their websites.
Are there any additional costs that I will incur other than my membership fee?
We realize that many of our new agents are joining our company to earn additional income, so we don’t want our agents to spend any more than is absolutely necessary. As such, we have designed our system to include everything that you will need to start and run your business. Other than the monthly (or annual if you choose that option) membership fee and your $199 online registration fee, there are no other costs to join our program. Additionally, all of our online training is included in our program at no additional cost. Certain items like business cards, Internet access, and long distance telephone charges are the responsibility of our agents.
Why do I need to pay a membership fee to own an independent travel agency?
As a Newwest Travel Associate Agent, your membership fee covers all the training, tools, and technology that we provide to help you start and run your travel agency. We are constantly providing our agents with updated technology and new agent support resources that you can use to be profitable. As with owning any business, you need to invest time and money in order to be successful, and your membership fee allows us to build, maintain, and enhance what we can offer you as a travel agent. For a complete list of the benefits we offer, check out our Benefits page.
When do you pay commissions?
Newwest Travel’s goal is to provide agents timely payment of all travel commissions. Newwest Travel Ltd. pays out commissions ONCE a month on the 25th. When determining when a commission is due to the agent, we look at two things; first, has Newwest Travel's Accounting Department received the actual commission from the travel supplier, and has Newwest Travel received the booking sheet from the agent. If the answer to these questions is yes, then the commission will be paid on the next commission run. For example, if Newwest Travel receives commission from WestJet Vacations and receives the booking sheet from the agent in September, the commission will be paid out on October 25th.
What kind of support does Newwest Travel offer to help you succeed in your business?
We realize that the majority of individuals joining our company have little, and in some cases, no experience in the travel industry. For that reason, all of our systems, processes, procedures, training and support have been designed with that in mind. We begin your training by familiarizing you with our internal systems. We want you to be comfortable completing a booking within your first few hours. The training, which is web-based, continues at your own pace. At any time, our dedicated team is standing by to assist you with any questions. Finally, all online training is included in our system at no additional charge.
Does Newwest Travel require any type of training or education?
We do not have any formal education qualifications to join Newwest Travel and we do not require new agents to complete our custom-designed New Agent Training program. However, we encourage all agents to complete the training to make their jobs easier. This program consists of completing Training Activities, and taking a final assessment online. The training cover topics that include learning how to set up your office, promoting and marketing your travel business, and the basics of booking travel. There is a final assessment at the end of the training series in order for you to be qualified to book travel.
Each component of New Agent Training has been designed by a trained professional with many years of travel industry experience. The training courses are available to you 24/7 through our Travel Agent Portal. Newwest Travel’s Training Department has also developed an extensive schedule of weekly webinars from our suppliers.
Why would people use me as their travel agent instead of just going to the Internet?
We get asked this all the time. Our business model is growing for a reason. Newwest Travel is adding new agents to our company each and every month.
There has been a significant shift in the travel industry from the “brick and mortar” agency to the home-based model. Technology is the biggest reason and the Internet is the largest part of that technology shift. You will have some customers that prefer to book their own travel online. They can do that from “your” website (if you opt to have the online booking engine) and you will get paid every time they book travel. However, most of the time, our agent’s clients are contacting them for assistance with their travel plans. This is especially true on more profitable, complex travel like cruises and vacation packages.
Can I have my own website name?
Yes. In fact, we encourage it. We've teamed up with EV Agency to bring you affordable websites for your business. EV Agency has partnered with Newwest Travel for the past 15 years and has helped manage and build our online business.
This package provides you with a completely customizable templated website. Use your company’s logo, fonts and colours to match your corporate style. This website is already populated with beautiful curated stock photography and professionally copy written content. If you prefer, you can edit any of the existing content, and add your own images and text with our easy to use Content Management System.
Is Newwest Travel a member of any professional organizations?
Yes. We are members of:
IATA – The International Airlines Travel Agent Network
CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association
Still have additional questions?
Contact our membership support team and they will answer any remaining questions you may have.