A specialist tour operator for single-parent families is offering commission deals to travel agents for the first time.

Small Families partner Carole Cooper said the operator, which has been running for nine years, will introduce the commercial deals for the winter 2009/10 season after failing to attract agents with an introductory payment scheme.

The operator is offering commission of between 10% and 12% as it seeks to set up full commercial deals with agents.

Cooper said: “Because we haven’t worked with agents before, we haven’t been set up to work with them.

“It is a shame if somebody goes into a travel agency and they’re not told about us, as we’ve got such a strong niche product.

“Single-parent families can have a much better experience with us, and there are masses of them out there.

“People hate the fact that, if they go with ordinary tour operators, they may be given special deals, but when they get out [to resort] people feel sorry for them.”

Cooper said she will help train any agents working with the operator, which often deals with families where one of the parents has died.

She added: “There is a certain way to handle someone who has just lost a husband or a wife, and they’ve got three children, and they don’t even know which way is up.”

Cooper said Small Families offers beach holidays, cruise, ski, Lapland and even Tunisian adventure holidays, including visits to the original Star Wars sets.

The operator attracts around 1,000 passengers a year, with up to a 50% repeat booking ratio, while about 20% of their customers book more than one holiday a year through the operator.

For more details go to smallfamilies.co.uk.