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Triton Conference: Independent sector held back by ‘poor standards’

Slipping standards are holding back the independent sector, industry veteran Andrew Dickson told delegates today.

The former travel agent, who now runs the Wow Factor consultancy, said he has been shocked by agents wearing scruffy clothing, failing to meet opening hours and providing poor customer service.

“It should be a condition for joining Triton that agents have high standards of window displays and customer service. This should be checked before they become a member,” said Dickson.

The closure of hundreds of the multiples’ shops had provided an opportunity for independent agents, he said.

“This is a major turning point for agents. The opportunities are out there as long as you can spot them and open yourselves up to change. A huge slice of the public will always want to book face to face.”

The key to success is specialising in a growing markets, he added.

“Specialist products should be your focus. You have to do something different.”

Dickson, who ran a 9-strong chain called St Andrews Travel, said training,  knowledge of destinations and not over-discounting were also vital.

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