Randolph Haddad started his career in travel in Toledo, Ohio in 1974. For 18 years Randolph produced steady sales growth, handling prominent global companies.
In 1991, he set off on his own, acquiring his own agency – an agency with $3 Million in sales.
Over the next 7 years Randolph expanded his single location into multiple locations in three states and his sales to $30 Million, through acquisitions and organic growth. In 2000, Randolph sold his business to a national travel management company.
He agreed to stay on and became a member of the executive committee and VP of Mergers and Acquisitions, where he was instrumental in acquiring 19 major travel related business during his tenure, and played a major role in the company’s expansion from $250 Million to $500 Million in sales.
Hot Travel Jobs is pleased to have Randolph on board – so, Ask the Consultant:
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I'm currently taking classes to get my travel agents certificate. i am learning all about the sabre system. i currently reside in iowa, but am moving to austin, texas in one month. can you reccomend any good entry level jobs for a travel agent? i don't mind travel.
Answer: Dear J Turner- I can only suggest you search through Google for travel agents' positions in the Austin area. You may try a call center for Sabre to start out gaining some experience. Another approach is look for a Host Travel Agency that has a program attracting people new to the industry- they will provide the technical and sometimes leads to develop a book of business. As I am an impartial advocate of agencies, I can only suggest the direction to take and not specific companies to investigate. Good luck and Happy landings!
Im working on starting my own business, in service. Ive taken wedding/event planning,Leadership & Management,Lean Six Sigma,Project Management and am currently enrolled in Travel Agent and Business Management Courses. Im thinking also about taking Conceirge Course and a couple of others. Id like to plan trips,for the non-profit Im starting,Team Tiffani.Its to bring awareness to reproductive and childhood cancer. Later I will branch off and provide assistance to male youths(ie life skills,manners,time management and budgeting thru volunteers/in kind participation.I will do all work at cost, after Im able to get funding but until then free. Im wanting to know where would you suggest I start as far as trips,free education,tips,etc. Thanks for your time! Blessings to You, Charlyn Paige
Answer: Dear Charyln- What a great approach to a needed market! I would suggest you approach hospitals( Children's) and connect with a list of parents that may need to travel to your general location. Provide side trips for the whole family before treatment or after dependent on the health of the child. Also, look to bridal fairs for sponsoring a booth to generate interest for the wedding programs Contact your Chamber of Commerce as they are always willing to assist someone willing to help those disadvantaged. I wish you the best , and as always, Happy Landings! May you make the best of today. Randy Haddad
I have been a home-based travel agent since October 2009 and live in Salem, OR. I also have 13 years experience as a Customer Service Agent with Piedmont Airlines (1979-1989) and a travel agent (1993-1996). I stayed home for 13 years to raise my 2 children. I am really struggling to get my business off and running. Since October 2009, I have only booked 5 packages. I am trying to specialize in honeymoon and romance travel. I have done bridal shows, networked, and went to businesses. I have such a passion for the travel business and was to get in back into it. My question is where can I find a virtual travel agent job, corporate or leisure? There are no jobs here for travel in Salem, OR. I want to find a regular job if my travel business is not going to take off like I want it to. Do I have to go back and re-educate myself? I am hoping you can give my some suggestions. I love the travel business so much and that's all I know!!!
Answer: Dear Tammy- Do not give up your dream! There are a number of opportunities for you to go after. If you have experience in leisure and corporate, then I would suggest considering utilizing your home office and connect with a Host Agency. These professionals are looking for people that have a following and those getting started . There are a number of programs some of these agencies have available whereby they furnish you leads. Currently, I do not know the particulars of the programs, but if interested, direct your interest of this approach to Mr. Douglas Walsh -Principal of Hot Travel Jobs for more information regarding this opportunity.. As for getting back into a travel agency , if there are no opportunities available in your vicinity, ask Mr Walsh for information regarding agency positions, as well as, the Independent Contractor position working out of your home office. I trust this has given you some initial considerations to pursue, and as always. happy landings! Randy Haddad
I have a lot of sales and customer service experience and a lot of it is on the phone. I am interested in finding a phone sales/service type job in the travel industry so that I can have discount travel benefits (like everyone). Can you suggest the best entry level type jobs in the industry and how to get in? I live in Phoenix so there are a lot of people who travel here.
Answer: Janice - Actually, I have been getting a great deal of requests for people interested in working out of their home as a travel agent. A number of savvy travel agency owners have recognized the advantages of contracting with an At Home Agent , as they increase their business through the At Home Agent;s business, while providing all the services and commissions, but saving on their overhead by hiring the At Home Agent as an Independent Contractor. The benefits for the At Home Agent are significant because you have a support system from the Host Agent that can accommodate your needs,and those of your clients, and allows you to work whenever it's convenient for you and exposes you to larger rates of commission due to their sales volumes that you would not have the opportunity to obtain on your own. If you are interested in working at an agency or call center environment to gain experience, I would like to suggest you go to the airport and ask the desk agents the best approach to glean an interview with the airlines, or tour operators , and even to start , car rental companies. A great many of these entities deal with phone sales, and could also provide you an entry level opportunity. I trust this has provided some ideas that may be of some success to you. Should you continue to have difficulty, my suggestion is to call Mr. Doug Walsh for more programs that may be available. Happy Landings! May you make the best of today.
Hi Randolph, I was working for a whole seller as a Travel agent in USA TX now I had moved to canada as a PR. since I have a good clients in USA would like to do Travel agnecy business. can I register a Travel agency (not a store front) in Texas as a international resident, and this would be a start up work form home in canada. if so do i have to take a premit or licences. please advise... Thanks kris
Answer: Kris- If you want to be registered from Texas, I would think it necessary to contact the States' Attorney General, or the Commerce Department (go on line for the information) to determine if you can do what you are asking. I also would think the Canadian Government would have you register, as well. The presumption is you would be doing this in a virtual environment.If you are issuing tickets you would need a Host Agency to do this as you would not be and ARC/IATAN accredited business. Suggest you start with Canada as that is your residence. Find out what they require, then to Texas. Best of luck in your endeavors, and as always, HAPPY LANDINGS! Randy
I need to improve my bussiness in tourism.I am an official tour guide in rome and i do private and group tours.I need your advice and help to conquer the american market.i am in the bussiness about 20 year i have some clients from the states but i want to be more known.grazie
Answer: Dear Valter, I presume your tour operations involve visiting the Vatican, and the presumption is based on your web site address. I would suggest the following: .Create a business summary of your company outlining how long in business, your experience and volume of sales. . If you have a brouchure of your company, great, and if not , it will be your marketing tool. Do this in hard copy , as well as, electronically. . Ask if some of the locations can provide you with testimonials regarding you service.This to add credibility for your company. . You can obtain lists of travel agencies in the US from the Internet- select those that deal with leisure travel -specifically to Italy, and Europe. Also, obtain a list of Chambers of Commerce in the US, as well as, Tour operators catering to Italy. . There are a number of churches that can be obtained - specifically those that provide tours, get a list of those. If you have catered to church groups in the past, contact them -ask if they have other churches they could recommend - tell them you will provide some sort of discount for their next trip,or provide a small commission for their efforts in helping you obtain more church business. . Send your information to the agencies, Chambers of Commerce and Tour operators- if on a limited budget - do so electronically. . Contact some of the large agencies present in your larger cities and ask if you can work with them for their incoming business.Do this , as well with Tour Operators . This business of marketing your company is very complex, time consuming and can be expensive, but in order to grow you must be willing to expand your exposure, and do it as economically as your budget allows. I trust this has provided you with some outline as to a general direction to expand your business. All the best in your expansion program and as always, Happy Landings!
I took early retirement and would like to do my own business as a leisure travel agent. For my experiaence, worked for a reputed airline industry in India and gained some reservation training and using of the the system. I want to start from my home as office. Please advise, what are the requirements and where I can find help in organising things. thanks Thomas
Answer: Dear Thomas, A suggestion would be to find a possible Host Agency that has a training program specifically fcused on training peopl to become travel agents. There are companies that provide a service which will establish your profile and match it with Host Agencies interested in training people to be travel agents, and work as Independent Contractors. Should you wish to move in that direction, I would like to suggest you contact the authors of this web site; Hot Travel Jobs for more information. Having previous experience in the airline industry, I would like to think you could contact a res center in your city for open positions. If , however you are more interested in focusing on leisure business and have a following, I would either approach an agency that may be interested in you working at home as an Independent Agent or going through the suggestion mentioned above establishing yourself through a Host Agency. Best of luck in your journey and Happy Landings! Randy Haddad
I was a travel agent in the late 80's. I worked in wholesale for a year and then went to retail for about 2 years. I then changed careers. How do I break back into the travel business? Should I take classes? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
* First it is necessary to determine what type of travel agent you wish to be: leisure, incentive, group, corporate, cruise, etc.
* Having been in the business years ago, find people you knew then and attempt to reconnect through your old “rolodex”, or Facebook, LinkedIn , or other social media outlets.
* If successful, sit down with them and find out the level of technologies needed, and extent of the product/service knowledge expected in today’s environment. This will give you an idea of the level of refresher courses needed. Then see if the agency your colleagues are in have training, or if they know of travel agent courses –schools or colleges.
* If there are no network professionals available, go to on of the largest agencies in your area, and ask for the HR person or senior manager. Explain your intentions . They may have some direction for you to take. This also exposes you to an opportunity when your requirements for “hire” have been completed.
* Do not expect to receive compensation as you may have had in the past as today’s environment dictates a number of agencies expand their base through agents as Independent Contractors, instead of employees. Some corporations still have travel departments, but a great number find it more beneficial to “retain” and agency for their travel requirements.
Flexibility and the willingness to reenter the market after added education, will be the key to your success.
Best of luck , and Happy Landings!
I was working as a sales & account manager for almost 12 years in a multinational travel agency in Morocco, now I get married and I am leaving in VA, I would like to back to travel business as an agent and if possible to work from home. Should I take classes concerning GDS as my studies were in marketing and business administration and never do reservations.... I would be grateful for any feed back from you.
I trust this has given you a better idea of what general direction to take, and I wish you all the best.
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