The pandemic-era rise in new travel advisors and independent contractors

Clockwise from top left: Jamie Biesiada and Rebecca Tobin of Travel Weekly and Jackie Friedman of Nexion.
Clockwise from top left: Jamie Biesiada and Rebecca Tobin of Travel Weekly and Jackie Friedman of Nexion.

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This is the second half of a conversation that host Rebecca Tobin and retail reporter Jamie Biesiada with Jackie Friedman, the president of the host agency Nexion: a robust talk about the rise of the independent contractor is our podast episode today. A good deal of travel sales are handled by independent contractors, or ICs, and means that the advisor has their own business but affiliates with another, larger agency or a host agency for support, better commission tiers, training, marketing collateral and so on.

One of the more surprising pandemic trends for agencies was a rise in the number of ICs, and Friedman has some thoughts on that; we'll get into it here.

On the news front, the U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a rule that would make it tougher for companies to categorize workers as ICs; and this rule is intended to help classify workers who are akin to employees. Two links below explore about how this rule might impact travel agencies with lots of ICs and, of course, the ICs, themselves.

This episode has been edited for length and clarity.

More on independent contractors

Travel advisors are the 'great' kind of busy

Host agency Avoya reports growth in first-time travel advisors

ASTA formally suggests fees, blasts past membership goals

Travel advisors are well positioned in the rebound from Covid-19

Labor Department updates

Labor likely won't target travel agencies over status of ICs

Department of Labor's criteria for determining IC status

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