White’s Travel has become the latest member of the managed services division of Advantage Travel Partnership.
It follows a 40% increase in enquiries in the last year to join the consortium, the majority of which were to join the Advantage Managed Services (AMS) division.
AMS takes care of agents’ administration, supplier payments and bonding, allowing them to concentrate on day-to-day sales.
All pipeline monies are protected in a trust account and members have a dedicated finance contact, access to net rate merchant fees, Atol options, marketing support and are not charged for technology.
Kelly Cookes, leisure director at Advantage Travel Partnership, said White’s Travel brought the number of AMS members to 75 while there were other new agents were in the pipeline to join.
She said: “The last year has been unimaginable for small businesses, but we believe that many travel agents will be evaluating what they need to be able to move forwards.
“We are really excited to have White’s Travel choose us as a partner and we look forward to progressing other opportunities that are in the pipeline. We have seen an increase in recruitment enquiries which we hope is reflective of our support to members prior to, and throughout the pandemic.”
White’s Travel, based in Ellerker Lodge Garden Centre in east Yorkshire, was founded in 2006 by Mel White, originally as homeworking business Mel Hatfield Travel.
Ian White, former chief executive of Corporate Travel International, set up a corporate division working alongside Hatfield. The pair married in 2016 and rebranded the agency White’s Travel.
They moved the business to their local garden centre in 2019 and now employ two members of staff, Claire Hastie and Liz Vann.
Co-owner Mel White said: “We are so pleased to be joining the Advantage Travel Partnership. Between Ian and I we have more than 65 years’ experience in the travel industry, and since joining Advantage we feel that we are now members of a huge family we never had.
“Despite the Covid pandemic being the most challenging time of our careers, it has given the industry the chance to hit the reset button and we hope by working together, we will come out the other side stronger and recognised for our professionalism and expertise.”