Frequently Asked Questions
- QCan I work from home?
- AYes. As a TTA Member, you can be an independent travel agent, tour operator or tour organiser and base your business from home. Or, you can become a 'homeworker'. We can help you set up as a homeworker with Independent Travel Experts Ltd. Our section on travel business network describes what you would do as a homeworker.
- QHow comprehensive is the consumer protection?
- ATTA provides the most comprehensive consumer protection in the market. Unlike all the other protection schemes, including ABTA, it covers the consumer against fraud by the business that sold them their holiday. Every year since the business started some travel companies have gone into liquidation. In all cases, customers protected by booking with TTA member companies get to have their holiday or a full refund.
- QDo I need a merchant acquirer facility?
- AAlmost certainly, as most consumers want the option of paying by credit card. Membership of TTA gives you automatic access to a credit card facility and preferential transaction fees. Many members join for this alone.
- QWhat legislation do I need to be aware of?
- AThe travel market has some key and detailed regulations. Please see Travel regulation and legalities for our explanation.
- QHow do I get a website to represent my business?
- AAt TTA we give supportive and informative advice on the different options in having a website built for your business. Each business will have its own bespoke requirements.
- QWhere do I go to get the software built to support the business?
- AWe provide a front office system called Honeycomb and a Viewdata based online reservation system to search for suppliers products. Both Honeycomb and Viewdata are provided free of charge. Honeycomb is a live, online search and book engine which provides access to flights, cruises, accommodation, transfers and car hire. All bookings are ATOL compliant and protected by the TTA.
We also offer a back office system called Profit~2 (at an extra cost). Profit~2 will manage your client’s details and all areas of your bookings electronically.
With Honeycomb, Viewdata and Profit~2, you have the software you will need to run your business.
- QDo I have to form a company or can I act as a sole trader?
- AYes you can act as a sole trader but acting within a limited company gives you far more personal protection.
- QHow do I register my company?
- AYou can check your company name and register it at Companies House.
- QHow do I get the finance to fund setting up my company?
- APlease see funding your first year which explains the options. Estimating how much you will need is covered by cash, surviving your first year.
- QHow does the cashflow work through the TTA trust fund?
- ACustomer cash is paid into the trust account. It is then paid out to suppliers accordingly at the appropriate time. This can be before the client travels if you use our Supplier Failure Cover (SFC) insurance, or you are paying a bonded supplier, or after the client travels.
Profit from bookings (customer cash minus supplier costs) can be taken from the Trust Account once suppliers are paid - If you pay a supplier from the Trust Account before the client travels you can take your profit before the client travels.
- QDo TTA help travel companies raise loans?
- AUnfortunately we don't raise loans for you. However, our travel clinics can help you write a business plan which will help with the lenders. We also work very closely with two of the biggest high street banks and so we can introduce you to the right people.
- QDo you help calculate fixed costs, etc. for a start-up business?
- AYes we could - we offer advice to start-up businesses. We help you write your business plan or bring your business plan into the real world. At these clinics we could help you with the assumptions behind fixed and variable costs.