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Consortia report hike in travel agents considering switch

Consortia have reported a hike in enquiries from agents keen to switch membership as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Advantage Travel Partnership is in talks with 40 separate agencies which are interested in joining.

The travel agency consortium said the increase was mainly from existing agents,  rather than new start-up businesses, which suggests agencies are reviewing their current consortium membership.

The 40 potential members have around 60 branch locations between them. Currently Advantage has 350 members with around 650 branches. Advantage has deferred subscription payments, normally due in April, to the end of the year and kept on its 10-strong managed service team to manage refunds for members in its Advantage Managed Services branches.

Leisure director Kelly Cookes said members’ support and recommendations had been key to the increase in enquiries. “Our members have been key in recommending us and we have worked hard to ensure that our levels of support have been as high as possible throughout this,” she said.

Head of business development David Moon added: “We are getting more enquiries than normal. In these sorts of situations, many people take a step back to look at their business.”

The Travel Network Group said applications for May and June were level with last year but the mix was different.

Stephanie Slark, director of membership services, said: “We’re getting more enquiries from existing travel businesses, compared to start-ups, than in 2019.  We’re aware of many positive comments on social media and we’re humbled by our members’ support.”

Protected Trust Services reported a “huge surge in enquiries” from agents seeking a trust fund model, with 89 leads in April, 81 in May and 58 in June.

It took on 29 new members in May and June and has a further 10 due to join – altogether double the number of new members on the same period last year.

Managing director Daniel Landen said: “Consistent feedback from agents is they want security and control of their businesses.”

More:Keeva Travel leaves Global Travel Group to join TTA

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