Travel Weekly says

Blasts reveal dynamic flaws

Richard SiddleThe phenomenon of dynamic packaging has taken even its biggest advocates by surprise.

The opportunity for agents to package together flights and beds without all the costly bonding has gone from being great in theory to marvellous in practice.

Consortia groups say it already accounts for more than 20% of their business, and for homeworkers it can be even higher.

The lure of dynamic packaging is clear. Not only are agents able to act as their own mini-tour operators, they can claw back some of the earnings lost due to the commission cuts of the major players.

But the small print means agents are potentially selling holidays to customers without the support and on-ground expertise they have been used to through their traditional package holiday.

This is an issue that has rumbled along behind the scenes in the travel sector. But this summer we have seen unprecedented numbers of Brits travelling abroad on packaged-together holidays completely different to a year ago.

But the tragic events in Turkey this week have exposed again how fragile a dynamically-packaged holiday can be once something goes wrong.

The response of our major operators and specialist players in the area has been a credit to the industry with the efforts made to ensure customers were not only safe, but able to continue their holidays.

All the British tourists injured were travelling on a traditional package holiday and their operators did everything you would expect to help.

But, if they had booked with an individual agent, what level of support would have been expected and what sort of tabloid headlines would there have been, without the on-ground support and expertise to step in?

It’s a tricky balancing act for agents. Dynamic packaging offers a wealth of opportunities, but having a back-up plan for when things go wrong should be very much part of any agent’s DIY strategy.

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