OPERATORS
have dismissed fears they plan to cut commission to agents, despite most ABTA
Convention delegates’ belief that such a move is inevitable.

Kuoni
managing director Sue Biggs admitted the operator’s commission payments to
agents are “fairly tight” but said there was commitment to the trade
through training and educationals.

She
claimed agents could earn £275 for an average booking with Kuoni, which gets
85% of its business through the trade. “We have no plans to reduce or stop
commission,” she said.

Cresta
managing director Steve Kimber urged agents to book packages rather than
separate components independently to maximise their earning potential.

Cosmos
managing director Terry Williamson said while independent operators often paid
more commission than the big four, they did not necessarily get the support
they deserved from agents.

Meanwhile,
agents warned they would take action should operators go down the same route as
airlines and said not all agents could rely on customers being amenable to service
fees.

Worldchoice chairman Colin Heal said: “We have
pledged to fight commission cuts to the death. If any operators try to cut it,
we will switch-sell.”