If Only raises agent commission ahead of credit card charge ban

Long haul operator If Only has raised commission on accommodation-only bookings to put them on par with package booking remuneration levels.

Agents will also see commission payments increase by 0.5% to take into account planned changes to credit card charges.

Other initiatives include an online booking system and new website and a  ‘Best of Both Worlds’ peaks campaign for January and February with in-store displays, and marketing materials that can be used by agents to sell twin-centre holidays.

Daily and weekly prize draws will enable agents to win holidays in Dubai, Fitbits and Indian Ocean hotel stays.

Reservation team staff numbers have been increased, and the number of phone lines raised at the Scottish company’s headquarters in Milngavie.

New destinations are to be added next year with the first new brochure due for release in spring following the introduction of the US a month ago.

The moves are among pledges to the trade for 2018 made by company founder and managing director Brendan Maguire as he reaffirmed the operator’s “100% commitment” to the travel trade.

“Looking back on 2017, it’s been a roller-coaster of a year for the travel trade in general, and for If Only in particular,” he said.

“In the summer, news of our expansion plans caused quite a stir, and our subsequent success in winning numerous awards in the autumn convinced me that the trade are ready and willing to support our future developments.

“The turn of the year heralds the launch of many of these plans, so we’ve made some new year’s resolutions to make life easier and more profitable for our supportive agents.”

Maguire added: “We do not promote ourselves directly to the consumer, investing all of our efforts in the retail travel trade.

“Unlike many of our competitors, we don’t have a ‘sister’ direct sell brand out there undercutting you, our loyal agents.

“And we won’t use any data that we may acquire – such as emails or phone number for frequent flyer numbers, chauffeur drive etc – to reach out directly to your clients.”

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