TOUR operators have rubbished claims they are planning
to slash base commission for agents.

The strong reaction comes after Cadogan Holidays
managing director Gary David alleged operators are considering cutting their
lowest commission to 5%.

David issued a press release claiming “a number of
tour operators have suggested base commission should be between 5% and 10% with
incentives to achieve up to 15%”.

The release added operators should be able to change
commission on individual late holidays depending on how much they were set to
lose. It said many were “more than happy” to sell holidays at net cost and
allow agents to charge a fee for their service.

But Travel Weekly has been unable to find a single
operator who admits to knowing anything about the plans. Many said it would be
unthinkable to damage their relationships with agents by taking an axe to
commission.

Sunvil managing director Noel Josephides was among
more than 30 operators contacted by Travel Weekly who said any such move would
be completely unworkable.

“The problem with the industry at the moment is there
are too many companies that have exactly the same product. When you have got
that sort of situation, the only way you can sell your product is to give a
higher commission,” Josephides said.

“The only way you can dictate commission levels is by
withdrawing from agents completely and selling direct or by producing a product
that is unique enough so the agent comes to you and you control the amount of
commission.”