Preferred suppliers working with Advantage Travel Centres are becoming more agent-friendly, according to the consortium’s latest survey.

All partners were awarded ticks depending on factors such as whether they only sell through the trade, discount on direct sales, price match, capture customer details in resort and if their marketing includes a call to action to the agent. A total of 33 partners achieved the maximum of four ticks, 43 achieved three ticks and 31 achieved two ticks.

The survey found that compared to last year, nine partners gained three extra ticks, 15 business partners gained two extra ticks and 15 gained one extra tick. Of those partners who discount on direct sales to the consumer, 43% will price match with the same level of discount and full commission protected; and a further 11% will price match but pay less commission.

More than half (55%) of business partners who mail their customers, include a call to action directing them to book through a travel agent and virtually all partners give consortium members the best commercial terms within the independent sector and for additional support, 59% provide marketing materials that can be overbranded with members’ details, with 65% offering a trade bookable Website.

Meanwhile, more than half (52%) of partners provide members with local/national or free phone numbers as alternatives to expensive numbers for their reservations or agency sales departments.

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