Dynamic packaging means different things to different people. But is there any consensus within the industry? We asked a flight-only specialist, a transfers company and a bed bank


Transfers company:
Claire Osborne, commercial and marketing manager, Resorthoppa


Describe dynamic packaging – is it old-fashioned tailor-making or a brand new concept?


Although based on the tailor-made holiday model, dynamic packaging is a new concept. In the past, tailor-made holidays tended to apply to particular destinations and appeal to a different demographic than the traditional package holiday. But now dynamic packaging is challenging the traditional packaged holiday market for market share.



How successful are agents at booking dynamic packages?


We work with a number of large multiples and operators who have really caught on to the idea. We also work with some amazing independents who have completely turned their businesses around using the new model. Not everyone has embraced the idea, so there is still plenty of scope for growth.



Is confusion over bonding holding up the growth of dynamic packaging?


There are so many grey areas that it’ll qualify for a free bus pass soon! The industry needs a final definition, issued by an independent authority, to give agents more confidence and reassure holidaymakers that they are protected.



Do customers know what dynamic packaging is – does it matter?


They are aware of the concept, even if they are not familiar with the term. It gives agents the chance to use their expertise and add value, allowing customers to choose elements of their holiday – even choosing the vehicle that transports them to their accommodation.



What training do you offer agents on how to dynamically package your product?


Our Training Online Modules offers sales tips and tools (Resorthoppa.com/tom). We also offer in-house training by arrangement which we tailor to the agent’s needs.



Is dynamic packaging here to stay or is it just a fad?


In some form it’s here to stay – it may be called something else, it may be re-invented or added to in some way but as people become more aware of what is available they will want more options – and dynamic packaging offers that.



What percentage of holidays sold through the trade will be dynamic packages in five years’ time?


It’s so hard to predict as operators are really starting to embrace dynamic packaging. I’d like to think there is room for everyone – it gives the greatest choice for holidaymakers.



Bed Bank:
Stuart Jackson, managing director, Somewhere2stay.com


Describe dynamic packaging – is it old-fashioned tailor-making or a brand new concept?


It isn’t tailor-making as we know it (ie multi-centres) it’s bucket-and-spade holidays using low-cost carriers and accommodation-only providers powered by new technology.



How successful are agents at booking dynamic packages?


The independents are doing best as they’ve been quicker to react and introduce the technology needed. I’m not convinced that those who have been quickest to adapt are aware of the true costs, either in terms of their legal liability or the costs of administering up to three separate contracts for one booking.



Is confusion over bonding holding up the growth of dynamic packaging?


No – it should be, but it isn’t. Again, this is down to the fact that many are unaware of the implications.



Do customers know what dynamic packaging is – does it matter?


No, but it should matter. Customers are potentially being misled in terms of what they are purchasing, their financial protection and their recourse in the event of a problem.



What training do you offer agents on how to dynamically package your product?


We have a team of business development managers who maintain contact with all of our key agents, providing training, product updates, staff incentives as well as organising roadshows.



Is dynamic packaging here to stay or is it just a fad?


It’s here to stay – it’s the reincarnation of mainstream holidays. Package holidays and dynamically packaged holidays will co-exist based on the relevant technologies and how the retailer wishes to sell them in either a fully protected or unprotected way.



In your view, what percentage of holidays sold through the trade will be dynamic packages in five years’ time?


There are three trade entities – the vertically integrated, the independents and call centres.


In five years the vertically integrated companies will predominantly be selling packages (their own stock/holidays) the independent agents will be doing a mixture of the two depending on how they grasp the technology or whether they are inside a consortium. For example, members of the Global Travel Group will be predominantly dynamically packaging whereas the true independents will sell more packages. Call centres will be 100% dynamically packaging.


Flight-only Specialist:
Paul Moss, managing director, Freedom Flights


Describe dynamic packaging – is it old-fashioned tailor-making or a brand new concept?

A simple concept of adding transport and accommodation together to create one price point for the consumer.



How successful are agents at booking dynamic packages?


Multiples are behind, largely due to inadequate IT. They are also too focused on selling their own packages. Independents, especially the homeworking sector, have embraced the concept by getting the right IT and negotiating favourable terms with seat suppliers and bed banks.


Is confusion over bonding holding up the growth of dynamic packaging?


I don’t believe so – it’s simply a seat from an ATOL bonded seat supplier and a bed from a bed bank acting as ‘principal’, there are no other issues.



Do customers know what dynamic packaging is – does it matter?


Consumers don’t need to know – dynamic packaging is a back office function.



What training do you offer agents on how to dynamically package your product?


We have an office- based agency sales department supported by an on-the-road sales force who will happily visit agents’ offices to provide full training.



Is dynamic packaging here to stay or is it just a fad?


It will grow. We have already seen a decline in charter flights and the capacity taken up by the low-cost carriers with more regional departures. Couple this with the explosion in bed banks and the sector will dominate.



What percentage of holidays sold through the trade will be dynamic packages in five years’ time?


In the independent sector it’ll hit 75%. The remaining 25% will mainly be long haul and specialist.