It's been one week since Orbitz started its Orbitz for Agents program, which offers commisions to travel agents when they book travel packages through the online travel agency (OTA). Needless to say, there's been plenty of buzz on the topic. In fact, you may have seen the dialogue between Brian Hoyt, Orbitz's vice president of global communications and government affairs, and agents on our Facebook page.
So we started a thread on AgentNation, where we are inviting agents to share their two cents on the topic. Unlike the majority of opinions we've seen on the issue thus far, we found a pretty positve one from AgentNation user Fernando, who wrote:
Since I've been in the game, Agents have been "under attack" by these massive OTA's (or IT companies, to be frank) and we, the agents, have been forced to etch out a specialization and client base. Thus, I believe the manner in which we actually put everything together is ultimately irrelivant (sp). I have a client base due to the trust that I've built, and I don't think my customers care much about how I actually get everything done. So, personally, I look forward to seeing all the OTAs adopt similar practices, and hopefully, one day soon, I can use each one based on whatever they do best, or their particular region of coverage. There's an idea... Some developers could make a commissions managment cloudware, where I can manage all my affiliates, ppc's, referrals, agent-supplier comissions, and OTA-Agent commissions in one place... I really should have studied Computer Science. A sort of Independent Agent GDS/Host Agency/Commission Management system all rolled into one.
What's your opinion? Is Fernando or any agent that sees promise in this development right to hope for a benefit to business? Please post a comment below, share a note on our our Facebook page, send a tweet to our Twitter page, or join the discussion at AgentNation. We want to hear from you.