However, in the United States, travel agents have yet to jump on the bandwagon.
Each year, over nine million people that own recreational vehicles (RV) in the United States hit the road for a vacation on wheels. They are joined by tens of thousands more that rent RVs and this constitutes a massive travel marketplace. This market has forever been untapped by domestic travel agents but travel agents located in other countries are doing a brisk business selling RV travel packages in the United States. "Fifty percent of our overall retail rental business comes from travel agents," says director of marketing for El Monte RV, Joe Laing. "But almost all of that comes from travel agents in other countries." Also, according to PRWeb which was reported on April 2, RV buyers, sellers, and dealers have a new way to stay connected with each other and stay engaged online to be able to buy and sell these RV travel packages. When you are ready to travel with your RV, you can get your own from RV Rentals Houston.
El Monte RV handles tens of thousands of travel packages each year with a fleet of about 2,000 rental RVs. Cruise America, El Monte’s largest competitor, has over 4,000 RVs in their fleet. RV Rentals Houston is also a big player in the market. These three companies have travel agent programs and offer commissions. Travel agents abroad take advantage of them but U.S. travel agents have not noticed a huge market that lives and breaths right in their own back yard. "There's no reason in the world why domestic travel agents couldn't or shouldn't be booking [RV travel]," says Laing. "We actually have international travel agents who are giving us hundreds of thousands of dollars from domestic clients. It's already happening. It's always driven me crazy, why domestic travel agents haven't done it."
The main reason RV trips do not sell that well domestically is domestic travelers will only spend about a week at a time on a trip. Travelers from countries such as Japan, Korea, India, China and Germany will rent for several weeks at a time, says Laing. Another reason is domestic travel agents make a significant commission from motels and a travel package involving an RV generally does not require many motel bookings. Similarly, RVs are a low-cost mode of travel that presents minimal commission opportunity. Lastly, selling RV packages requires a fair amount of education and training to understand the vehicles and the logistics of where to travel and park the vehicle overnight. This is probably something domestic travel agents are unwilling to learn.