Why Do We Charge Fees?

Let’s face it, paying for a service (or anything really) is painful. But we pay for therapy because we know the therapist is a licensed expert in her field. We pay for a lawyer’s counsel because we desire skillful interpretation of laws and execution to get desired results. We pay for a doctor’s opinion because we believe they have spent their time honing their skills in the art and science of medicine.

In an age of information overload, we believe we can easily figure stuff out on our own without the guidance of an expert. And it’s possible – most times. Or we approach travel simply as booking the logistics of transport, accomodations and things to do at the supposed lowest price.

However, sifting through the various pieces of information to arrive at optimal, decisive, and actionable knowledge and insights to plan and enjoy our travel requires years of experience, both broad and destination niché expertise.  Not to mention local connections that can provide  the best and up-to-date travel advice and government requirements. 

This is where World Awaits Cultural Tours comes in. We charge for coaching and concierge travel advisory services for the following reasons. You can leverage our expertise, expediency,  experience, travel agent exclusive pricing, deals and incentives, and our local connections to enjoy your travel, and not manage it.

As your travel concierge, we listen attentively, research, plan, curate, manage, assist, make reservations, arrange services and experiences, negotiate, recommend the best, troubleshoot, solve problems, perform risk management, safety management and quality management so you don’t have to.
  • Our Approach
    • Travel is a product as much as a service. You are paying for a service, but we provide a product–the product of travel.
    • Travel is an experience, not just a trip, sightseeing or vacation.
    • Personalized, proactive, attentive service and care empowers you to experience travel your way in your budget
    • We build a relationship with you to know your travel style, preferences, hopes, requirements and deal breakers.
    • A concierge at your service
  • Our Expertise 
    • We have first-hand experience in the local destination and culture. Where we don’t have direct experience, we have local, native experts and contacts.
    • We are verified and certified travel advisors with diverse expertise in travel and multiple destinations.  
    • Our training, experience and certifications include 23 years of coaching, consulting, training global executives and expatriates of all ages, 8 years of building customized, concierge travel and education programs for foreign youth and executives, studying abroad, mission work abroad, and travel experience to 14 countries and 19 USA states and counting.  
    • We maintain the travel certifications of American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Verified Travel Advisor, Airlines Reporting Company (ARC) Verified Travel Consultant, Special Needs and Accessible Travel Advocate, and Destination Specialist for various cities and countries.
  • Our Connections
    • We leverage an international network of governmental, tourism and local, native professionals and hosts that help us curate the best experiences for you.
    • We learn and network with other travel advisors with various specialities.
    • We advocate – we stand for our clients on your behalf with travel suppliers when things are going well and not so well. 
    • We negotiate upgrades and accommodation requests when available with our travel suppliers

The hard reality for most travel agent professionals is we get paid minimal commissions (8-10%) proportional to our years of expertise and the amount of personalized time and attention we give to your travel from the first contact with you until you safely return home.

We don’t get paid commission on:
  • Airbnb bookings
  • Airline tickets
  • Some local, small or boutique hospitality companies, tours, activities or accommodations
  • Some accommodations managed by property managers
  • Research time
  • Booking and travel administration round-trip
  • Advising, coaching and expertise
  • Customizations
  • Full-management of your travel and any issue that may arise
  • Even some larger travel suppliers only pay commission on a portion of the full travel package (non-commissionable fees)
  • And our payment processors or commission processing companies take out their processing fees

We may book a trip for months or years in advance, but we don’t get paid by suppliers until you complete that travel. Finally, we don’t get paid commission on travel you cancel or do not complete. 

At the onset of the pandemic the overwhelming majority of travel advisors did not charge fees and their  main source of revenue was commissions and still is today. When the travel industry came to an abrupt  halt with the rest of the world, travel cancellations and closed borders lead to massive layoffs and zero commission revenue for travel advisors. According to the recent 2022 ASTA member surveys, the average travel agency revenue levels are still down 71 percent compared to 2019.

As you consider your next getaway, business trip or making your dream trip come true, how would you like to spend your time? What are your priorities? What do you really want out of your time away? And would you like less things to do, less stress and more enjoyment? If your answer is yes, let’s explore a relationship.


Bernell King

Travel Coach | Founder & CEO | World Awaits Cultural Tours

I am passionate about traveling like a local with locals. My life and relationships have been deeply enriched by over 22 years of experience in international business, coaching, consulting and training of expatriates, executives, families and children from around the world.