TRAVEL agents are being forced to turn to dynamic packaging to make money as the market conditions continues to battle dire trading conditions.
Overall sales are reported to be 4%-8% down on last year, with Turkey sales in the week after the bombs up to 70% down.
Anthony Goord, proprietor of Peter Goord Travel in Plymouth, said his agency felt there was no choice but to turn to dynamic packaging in the current climate.
He said: “We are definitely doing more dynamic packaging, because we have to compete on price. A lot of charters do not have the flights to the Costas anyway, and if you show customers an operator’s brochure they go and book direct.
“Accommodation-only bookings can make commission of up to 30%,” he added.
“You make more money on DIY bookings and can upsell customers. Operators don’t often pay commission on the extras.”
Dynamic packaging company Holiday Brokers said agents previously too scared to switch to dynamic packaging are now selling its products.
Sales director Brian Young said: “In the last three months agents have been hit by commission cuts, and with cheaper prices, commission is even lower.”
More agents are turning to accommodation-only website Somewheretostay.com, said sales director Andy Washington. “The market is shifting to more of a dynamic-packaging environment, particularly for destinations such as Sharm el-Sheikh.”
But fears are rising that dynamic-packaging agents are failing to book in-resort services to help holidaymakers in the event of a crisis overseas.
In-resort rep service Destination Care managing director Lawrence Assock said agents didn’t see the product as essential because it isn’t a high-earner. “Agents have to stop seeing it as a commercial product,” he said.
The company helped out around 50 dynamic-packaging agents who had not booked a rep service for clients after the recent air terror alert. “We can’t carry on doing this,” he said.
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