The most important recognition a travel agent should possess is the IATA recognition. This enables an agent to make reservations and issue tickets on IATA member airlines. It also enables the agent to claim his commission of 7% from the respective airlines, for issuing such tickets. There are about 130 airlines, which are members of IATA. The agency seeking IATA recognition has to meet stringent requirements and qualifications.
Before a travel agency applies for IATA recognition, it should be functioning as a full-fledged travel agency for a minimum period of 9-12months. An application has to be submitted to the Area Headquarters of IATA in Mumbai with detailed information regarding the company such as.
- Background of partners or directors of proprietor and their staff.
- Financial standing/ Capital, investments etc. Location and area
- Security measures
- Present turnover
- Balance sheet, profit and loss account, names of bankers
- Sales figures.
The application is screened by a panel of airlines. If the panel is satisfied with all the requirements and conditions, the agency qualifies for recognition. The processing of the application could take anything between 1-4 months. After approval has been granted, there is an annual review and the agent has to keep up the minimum level of productivity as stated by the panel. In the event of its inability to meet this level continuously for 3 years, the agency could run the risk of losing its recognition.
Setup for a Tour Operator
An accreditation policy for tour operators primarily for two reasons: demand for recognition of tour operators in order to convince clients about the quality of products and services offered and need for the government to maintain the quality of services and image of the destination The international tourism industry (which is where many potential clients come from) is extremely wary of “fly-by-night” operators who open their businesses only to disappear within a year or so.
It is important to establish a reputation as being reliable. It must be clearly understood by anyone wishing to enter tourism as a tour operator that very hard work is essential in order to succeed. International clients need & expect service at almost any time of the day or night. For a tour operator trying to establish a business, therefore essential to recognize by any governmental, national or international tourism organization.