Suppose you were to visit a certain place, and you had no idea as to what that place is like and you were too lazy to do all the research for your visit, you would require a certain 3rd party which could do all that on your behalf, at a certain price, of course. We would call that agency or that 3rd party as a travel agency. Similarly, you can open up your own travel agency, if you think that you have the required resources and the knowledge to fulfill the requirements of the people.
You can find various kinds of travel agencies, depending on the basis of the services they are providing you.
The largest ones, which are often supported by the local governments, are the tourism agencies, or tourism development corporations, which not only have local guides and transportation for guided tours, but also provide you with accommodation and meals. The mode of transportation can range from bicycles to luxury airplanes.
Another kind is the one which arranges business trips for you. You want to go to a certain place, yet you don’t know what the requirements to visit that place are, you contact a travelling agency. The agency will require your social security number, your dates for travelling, and they will arrange all the rest for you, from arranging the passport to the airplane ticket and the booking in a certain hotel of your liking and budget capacity. There are various packages available for you, if you just want them to arrange just a portion of the trip, like just arrange you the passport or just the booking of a hotel, so to speak.
Yet other well-known kind of travelling agencies are those which arrange your pilgrimages to the holy places, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican City; which are the most popular pilgrim places where millions of pilgrims visit every year.
And yet another kind of travelling agency is one which is affiliated with certain air lines and facilitates the people into arranging their trips through these airlines. These agencies get a cut from both the parties, where both the airline and the individual is a client to the agency.
Some years ago, another side business these travel agencies started was filming their trips to various places and broadcasting them on television. This had a wonderful twofold benefit. Firstly, it boomed their business, as many people became aware of the existence of places where they could spend their leisure time on, and secondly it brought their company publicity. Some travel agencies also hire tourists to help them compile a travelling guide book as another sort of business, which carries all sort of information about the places which are included in their trips, the various attractions for tourists, the cultural and historical heritage of a place, and the basic profiles of the locality, etc. These travel guide books are commercially available too at various local booksellers.