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TripTailor Vacations

September 15, 2008 By: George Dooley Travel Agent

A new breed of tour operator

If you are looking for a quick fix for high gas prices, need a free vacation in Las Vegas, want to see a cute bear or want to sharply increase your profitability, TripTailor Vacations (TTV) has real-time solutions.

TripTailor Vacations, a new breed of tour operator, is winning strong support from profit-minded agent users who buttoned up more than 14,000 dynamic travel packages in 2007.

Current TripTailor commissions are 5 percent on air bookings and 10 percent on land components (except Las Vegas hotels, which are 5 percent). TTV also offers a dynamic vacation-booking tool that enables agents to create unique, customizable travel packages and charge a service fee.

Launched last year, TripTailor is earning a reputation as an online tour operator that consistently provides agents with easy-to-use and rewarding packages. TTV helps agents stay competitive with online pricing.

Too few travel agents are realizing the full commission potential of TTV. Barbara Helzisouer, vice president of sales and operations, notes that 43 percent of TripTailor users are marking up their packages with the average opaque service fee of $90. But 57 percent are not, leaving money on the table.

Helzisouer wants agents to earn more and be aware of appropriate use of TTV’s service fee option. “Travel agents too often underrate their value to clients and the resources and expertise they bring to bear,” she says. Clients only see one total price for their package, so agents should feel secure in adding their service fee to any TripTailor booking.

No matter what an agent books through TripTailor, they have the unique opportunity to access the same competitive online pricing as Travelocity because both companies are backed by the power of the Sabre GDS.

However, with TripTailor agents get the added bonus of building in their own service fee. In addition to product and destination commissions (variable with promotions), TripTailor truly empowers the agent to make as much money as they want with the uncapped opaque service fee.

TripTailor includes all of the traditionally popular vacation spots such as Cancún, Las Vegas and European cities— 1,500 destinations and 200,000 city pairs worldwide. Agents who utilize TripTailor also get last-minute packaging through Agent59, a sister company. An agent booking a package in TripTailor will be notified by the system if a better deal is available in Agent59.

Because TripTailor offers more than 1,700 travel extras, they can help agents create truly unique packages that customers just won’t find on their own. That enables agents to enhance their value proposition to clients. It’s no secret that travelers are becoming savvier by pre-shopping online. So when an agent is faced with a customer asking them to compete with online prices, they can check TripTailor to compare rates and take that opportunity to sell more.

Lee Rosen, president of TRAMS and general manager of Sabre Leisure, believes TripTailor is a good example of technology and marketing integration.

TTV is an equalizer that gives offline agents online rates and allows them to capitalize on the skills and value to clients. “Agents using TTV are no longer at a price disadvantage. Agents must, and can, find the best deals and clients will willingly pay when they see their agents adding value.”

Good Endorsement Helps

Sabre believes in TripTailor’s value to travel agents and is promoting TTV nationwide. As part of the campaign, TTV offered agents the opportunity to win $250 in free gas gift cards for agents who make five bookings and one chance to enter a contest to win a year’s supply of gas.

As for Las Vegas, agents who made five Las Vegas bookings could qualify for TTV’s summer promotion. While both promotions ended in June, more are in the pipeline. The key is to check out the entire program and new promotional campaigns at TripTailor’s website. Registration is free—and you get to meet Buster the Button Bear.

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