Advantage chief executive John McEwan has called for consortia to avoid returning to a ‘poaching’ culture.

His plea follows news Global Travel Group has launched a recession package in a bid to recruit new Independent Options members.

Global general manager Dave Clayton admitted promotional material has been sent out to members of rival consortia but denied it was poaching agents, despite seeing interest from both TTA Worldchoice and Advantage agents.

McEwan, who said the consortium had never lost a member to Independent Options, said: “It would be a pity in the industry if we got into the situation where we are trying to poach each other’s members. Members should be free to decide which is the best home for them based on each consortium’s merits.”

He added: “We do not target other groups.”

Triton Travel Group members, of which Advantage was previously a member, had agreed not to poach each other’s members. In the past, competition between consortia for members has been fierce and often included poaching.

Independent Options is offering new and existing members free subscription for three years. McEwan said Advantage’s commercial benefits and the overall package were the main focus for its members. One Independent Options member who joined Advantage had added £10,000 to the business’ bottom line, he claimed.