By Carly Charteris, business development manager at Premier Holidays

Travel agents can increase sales and commission earnings by upselling to clients on simple extras, from accommodation or flight upgrades to excursions and sightseeing tours.

Often, clients who have arranged a holiday on a budget are willing to spend a bit more to turn a good holiday into a great one.

Not only does this increase the value of the holiday, it also enhances their experience, creating gratitude and loyalty. Here, Premier Holidays’ Carly Charteris has some tips for agents on how to upsell.

Flight upgrades

Spell out the benefits of a flight upgrade to clients, such as enhanced service, entertainment and seating. Draw on your own experience to explain why it’s worth paying the extra.

Many airlines include a complimentary airport chauffeur service for business-class passengers or have two-for-one offers on business-class fares. If a return business-class seat overstretches the budget, try offering a one-way or premium economy ticket. These upgrades can start from as little as a few hundred pounds one way.

Airport lounges

Booking an airport lounge can be cost-effective for your client and enhance the holiday experience.

The cost generally works out to be better value for the client once they’ve accounted for coffees, newspapers, food and alcoholic drinks in the airport terminal. Lounges offer a tranquil environment, with some offering spa treatments. You can also upsell the benefit of overseas airport lounges, especially if your customers are transiting with a longer connection time on a long‑haul flight or before their return flight.

Add unique experiences

Incorporating once-in-a-lifetime experiences is a simple way to add value to both your client’s holiday and to your commission. Enhance a long‑haul trip with a “wow-factor” sightseeing element such as Victoria Falls in southern Africa, Niagara Falls in Canada or Elephant Hills in Thailand.

Many must-see attractions need to be pre-booked, such as Robben Island in Cape Town, Alcatraz in San Francisco and Australia’s Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb. If clients wait until they arrive, they will have to pay more or may not be able to book it at all.

Club room offers

For a minimal upgrade cost, money-saving extras such as complimentary wine or cocktails, breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres are included in the cost of a club room – eliminating a large proportion of in-resort spend. By explaining to clients the added value involved and savings generated, this is a sure-fire way to encourage a bigger sale.

Free nights

Look out for free‑night offers, especially in long‑haul destinations. These can include two-for-the-price-of-one in cities and buy-four-and-get-four-free in beach resorts. It’s worth keeping an eye on current and seasonal offers, and using these to encourage clients to spend longer in their destination.

Private sightseeing tours

This is generally an affordable extra that’s easy to upsell. Clients love the idea of experiencing their destination from a one-to-one perspective, at their own pace. Private tours can be arranged for any destination – book in advance to get the best rate for clients.