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ARC Helix Proves Popular With Travel AgenciesApril 20, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Despite initial industry doubts about its competitive impact on agency hosts, Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) reports that more than 100 home-based and retail travel agencies have joined its Helix program since its launch in February. Helix offers a preferred supplier portfolio covering all segments of travel, access to business services, and professional education and training opportunities to assist agencies in operating more efficiently and becoming more profitable.
“For an agency like ours, the relationships you build with the suppliers are just as important as the sales transactions,” said Ray Espino, owner of A & R Travel and Tours. “Helix allows my agency to create quality relationships directly with travel providers, where my sales are credited to the agency and I can find the business services and resources to provide superior service to my clients. Helix is an innovative program that helps agencies such as ours to stay in business.”
Helix member Susan Goldman, owner of Above and Beyond Travel, agreed.
“A small company usually can’t build direct relationships with suppliers or command the commission levels needed to be successful,” Goldman said. “With Helix, I’ve been empowered to do just that. Retaining the total commission with Helix’s preferred suppliers is a game-changer for my agency and lets me advance our business where it needs to go.”
Christopher Flores, Helix program director at ARC, said, “It’s very gratifying to see Helix pass the 100-member mark. It indicates that we are meeting our growth targets, and more importantly, it validates and confirms the market need for such a program. ARC wants all travel agencies, large and small, to succeed. I look forward to the program’s continued brisk growth as we add the next hundred members and a few additional suppliers.”
Flores also noted that since the launch of Helix, ARC has also seen an increase in new applications for its Verified Travel Consultant (VTC) Program. The VTC Program provides the products, services and benefits of ARC participation, including the ARC Number, Agent’s Choice, and ARC MarketPlace, to travel agencies not selling air, rail or bus tickets.
Helix currently features more than 30 preferred suppliers in its portfolio.