Start Your Own Travel Agency Worldwide, over a trillion dollars are spent on travel each year; over six billion in North America alone. Travel was the second largest employer in the U.S. and Canada, supporting over 6 million jobs. Travel represented 7% of the U.S. and Canadian Gross National Product. 65% of U.S. and Canadian residents took at least one trip over 100 miles. Nearly 42,000 travel agencies averaged $22,500 each week in airline ticket sales. Agencies book an additional 40% in tours, cruises, hotels, etc., therefore making the average travel agency volume $1,500,000, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Net profits average 4% to 5%, making the potential net profit in a travel agency $60,000 to $70,000. The travel industry has been growing even during the recent recession and is now experiencing unprecedented growth worldwide. You can start your own travel agency, which can be operated from your home, for under $10,000, including required training, operations manuals, reservations software and access to the airlines reservations computers, and initial supplies (stationery, posters, brochures). These services are provided as part of a package by TPI Travel Services, who also provide a TPI photo ID card for immediate free and reduced rate travel benefits. You also receive the right to use the TPI name and its trademarks. This will make it much easier for you to obtain high profit commercial accounts, as they supply you with references of existing accounts serviced by TPI. The commissions are also higher than you would receive as an independent travel agent, because TPI has volume contracts with airlines, cruise lines, and other suppliers and passes the increased commission on to its agencies. This is one of the easiest ways to get into the travel agency business, and is a fraction of the cost of doing it independently. If an investment of this size is in your budget, you'll want to look into this opportunity, as starting a travel agency from scratch can easily cost $25,000 to $50,000. If you can't afford an investment this large, you might want to get one or more partners to share the deal with you. Another successful strategy can be to line up commitments from one or two large business customers for their travel needs, and then use those commitments to make the investment more interesting to a partner. For more information, write to Travel Business Information Package, P. O. Box 1201, Skyland NC 28776.