Canadian Affair is to sell through the trade for the first time.
The Canada specialist says the move will make a wealth of competitive prices for tailor-made holidays available to travel agents for the first time, thanks to its buying power.
The company already has a direct-sell tour operation and is targeting the trade for incremental business from next month. There will be price parity across its direct and trade product range.
Managing director Chris Hedley said the decision to broaden distribution was a “natural evolution” for the brand and part of “far-reaching” growth plans.
He said: “We want to continue to grow our business-to-consumer side, but I see the trade as a really important part of our incremental growth. They are not mutually exclusive.”
He was confident that the operator’s expertise, along with “market-leading” prices thanks to its buying power, “competitive” commissions and additional performance-related incentives, would make it attractive to agents.
“Our rates can be substantially different [to rivals’] thanks to our economies of scale and buying power,” he added.
An online agency portal, launching in November, will allow agents to dynamically package holidays with real-time availability and price, which Hedley believes could be an industry first in the market. This will be instead of a printed brochure.
Talks are under way with agents to form commercial agreements. A team of four, comprising a sales manager and three sales executives, are being appointed to visit agents on the road, and extra staff have been taken on in the call centre to field calls from the trade.
Three fam trips of 10 agents each are in the pipeline for 2019.
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