Independent travel agents ‘going backwards’ on add-on sales

Independent agents have gone backwards in terms of selling add-ons especially in the current economic climate, according to Attraction World sales and marketing director Tony Seaman.

He said that multiples make between six and eight times more bookings per shop through Attraction World than independents.

Attraction World research also revealed that conversion rates among independent agents are only about 0.5%. This means for every 200 customers booked, only one will buy additional product.

The multiples, such as Thomson and Thomas Cook, have also offered extras such as redundancy cover, and they have reaped the rewards, while independents have failed to capitalise on the shift.

He said agents need to recognise the financial benefits of selling products such as theme park tickets. Commission for a £2,000 family ticket can earn agents about £300.

Seaman said: “This year has seen a real backwards turn for the independents.

“If a family is going to Florida there is no way they are not going use theme parks.

“Selling a holiday experience is so much more than a flight and a hotel and it begs the question of how will these agents cope with dynamic packaging,”

“Agents say they are scared about adding more on (once they have made a booking) but they are sales people. To me its common sense.”

He said it is more imperative than ever for independent agents to be pro-active and call customers on their database.

He added: “I booked three holidays in a year through an independent travel agent. Two years on they have not even bothered calling.”

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