I started HomeBasedTravelAgent.com over a decade ago as a way to offer my books to folks looking to become home based travel and cruise agents. I should tell you a little about myself before going too much further. My name is Tom Ogg and I have been full-time in the travel industry for almost 40 years. I have been fortunate to have dodged the many ups-and-downs in our industry and have been entrepreneurial for the last 25 years. Back in the late 1960s I started out as a agency sales rep for Aloha Airlines (I am a surfer and that is what motivated me to join Aloha) and after 12 years, left Aloha Airlines as Sales Manager. I opened a Hawaii wholesale tour company in La Jolla, California (Windansea Vacations) selling Hawaii vacations through travel agents in the western United States. After selling the tour company in 1984, I began acquiring travel agencies and bought and sold dozens of them over a ten year period. I also consulted and brokered travel agencies and wrote the book “How to Buy or Sell a Travel Agency” in 1986.
It became obvious to me that our industry was changing long before the general agency population realized it, so I made changes in the way that we did business. I sold all of our retail agency locations and then acquired one in a geographical area (Civic Center Travel in Escondido, California) that would allow us to open up (non-ARC appointed) branch offices around our centralized location. While the concept made sense, it didn’t work, simply because folks that were going to open a storefront wanted to have airline ticketing abilities right on the premises. But, we found out that the majority of folks that responded to our advertisements wanted to work from home. Joanie and I started one of the first credible host agencies in the industry (TBI) and subsequently recruited over 150 independent travel agents all over the country. Here is an article that mentions TBI that appeared in the travel industry trades in 1991. We decided we needed more help to grow the business and sold it to an industry icon with the idea of making it into an industry giant. That was a huge mistake, as the guy then had a couple of strokes with no health insurance and ran out of money.
I had just written “How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency” that was released in 1994 and the book had taken off like a rocket. All of sudden, I was speaking for all the travel industry trade shows, conventions, associations and other groups. Here is a trade article from 1994 about the seminars I was doing. One association, NACTA, (the original association for home-based travel agents founded by Donna Sherf in Dallas, Texas in 1986), approached me to either buy the association, or to help her find a buyer. I really wasn’t interested, but my wife, Joanie was. We purchased the association and the rest is history. Today, NACTA has been acquired by ASTA, the world’s largest travel agent trade association and continues to represent the Home-Based sector of our industry.
In February of 2006, I sold a major portion of my web sites for a ton of money and decided to give back even more to the industry that has taken such good care of me. In March of 2008, Joanie stepped down as President of NACTA in favor of doing her own thing again, so we are working together once more. While our industry continues to morph, now the mainstream is trying to catch up with the home-based travel agent revolution. The evolution of home-based agents is in more chaos now than ever before because you have folks trying to cash in on the phenomenon that really don’t even understand it, but are just convinced that the evolution can make them rich. It is truly sad. So, sign up for my free newsletter and visit this site as it evolves. I promise that you will be glad that you did.
If you are already a professional travel agent, join our TravelProfessionalCommunity.com to stay in touch with travel professionals the world over. It is free and it is fun! I would love to meet you at one of the travel industry trade shows, on a cruise seminar, or at one of the many seminars I do around the country. If you would like to contact me for any reason, here is my information.
P.O. Box 2398
Valley Center, CA 92082
E-Mail Address Send it to TomOgg at aol.com (format like a regular e-mail address. Eliminate the spaces and replace the at with an @).
Here are some of my other web sites in case you are interested;
Tom’s Web Sites About Cruising
(Note: The Following Sites Were Sold)
CruiseReviews.com This site is number one in Google (and every other search engine for cruise reviews. The site features thousands of passenger cruise reviews and receives over 50,000 page views each and every day.
PortReviews.com PortReviews.com currently features more information on more ports than any other web site and will become the CruiseReviews.com counterpart for port information. It already houses thousands of passenger port reviews.
Cruise-Chat.com With a community of seasoned cruisers that numbers in the thousands, Cruise-Chat.com is the place to get your questions answered in a straight, no nonsense fashion.
Cruise-Links.com Looking for that oddball bit of information about cruising? You will probably find it here.
New Cruise Sites By Tom
eCruiseReviews.com: This site is now live and waiting for your reviews.
ePortReviews.com: If you cruise, you will love this site. It tells you how to do each port completely On Your Own to see more, save more and have more fun!
Web Sites for Travel Agents
HomeBasedTravelAgentNetwork.com: This is a “must have” for travel professionals. It’s the most current and complete travel agent portal on the Internet. If you sell travel, this site will enable you like no others can.
TravelProfessional Community.com: This is the social networking site for travel professionals. With thousands of members from all over the world. It is free and it is fun. However, it is only available to travel professionals that have established businesses, so it won’t help you if you are just beginning.
HomeBasedTravelAffiliate.com Have a travel related website and want to monetize it? This book will show you how to turn your travel website into a virtual money machine. Don’t miss it!
Web Sites About Hawaii
HawaiiReviews.com Like Hawaii? Here is the equivalent to CruiseReviews.com, only for Hawaii. Enjoy!
Web Site About Our Condos in Punta Mita
PuntaMitaCondoRentals.com If you surf or fish, or just want to get far away from tourists to a place that is one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, check out this site. Punta Mita is exceptional in every way. Find out why it is Mexico’s new “hot spot” and why people love it so much.
ElAncloteCondoRentals.com Here is more detailed information on our condos in Punta Mita. If you haven’t visited Punta Mita, you should. It is one of the most wonderful places on Earth.