Dear Barry Trot,
Let's start with the most general information on how to start or open
a travel agency. The good news that besides some training and initial
resources (which you can probably get as a loan from the bank, if
you're genuine about this issue, and not as kokotbone-ga's suggested),
you don't need much to become a travel agent, and it is - for example
- an ideal work for someone wishing to work from home.
Astanet provides information on how to become a travel agent and the
type of training/schooling that you'd usually need:
ASTANET - Becoming a Travel Agent
eHow has some practical step-by-step information.
eHow: "How to Become a Travel Agent"
In other words, in order to become a *real* agent you need some
qualifications and some licensure - sometimes special one - from your
The best advice - if you're serious - is not to get immidiately your
own agency but to work for one for a couple of years, gain experience
and recognition, and only then open your own.
However, if you don't work as an employee, but open your own agency -
you'll need much experience before you will be eligible for ARC or
IATAN ID cards. An employee in a travel agency is eligible to get an
ARC card after having gone through CAS training
(<http://www.arccorp.com/products/prod_tra_AST_faq.html>); the manager
of an ARC-accredited agency must have two years of experience in the
In order to get ARC accreditation, besides the CAS training and the
experience required for the agency's manager, you need to meet the
requirements on section 80 of their charter:
You can read the FAQ on becoming ARC accredited at :
How do I apply for ARC Accreditation?
IATAN distinguish between agencies that represent a certain airline
(or several carriers) and those that act as a "Travel Sales
Intermediary", which means that they do not issue tickets, but sell as
an intermediary between the airline/hotel/cruise/etc. and the
customer. (Most agencies are TSI).
A small, home-based, TSI, must provide proof of $10,000 investment in
the travel business; provide bank statements; letters of
recommendation from suppliers or industry contacts; and other proofs
of being a legitimate business (business listing in the telephone
book, insurance policy, etc.). You can see the basic requierments
Travel Agency Accreditation Programs
Read again here:
Stadards for Accreditation as a TSI
Becoming IATAN Accredited
Only after you will have been accredited as an agency, you will be
able apply for an ID Card (that, among other things, gives you
I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarification on this answer before you rate it.