Amadeus’s decision to relaunch its Agenta program is based on the conviction that there is a new breed of professional travel agent in the market that needs the support that Agenta can deliver, says Bill Moreno, who directs the Amadeus Agenta program. In fact, according to industry estimates, the home-based agency segment could represent as much as $10 billion in annual travel sales.
The new Amadeus Agenta is a hybrid, Moreno says. “It delivers ‘traditional’ consortia and host agency benefits that will provide a diversity of support to Agenta member agents, as well as relevant technology tools such as the Amadeus Selling Platform. Agenta will focus on smaller agencies – including cruise-only and startups.”
“The new breed of travel agency is very different from the traditional store front model,” Moreno told Travel Agent. They are often home based, independent, with some industry experience and want a range of support tools with choice, flexibility and professional support. We think Amadeus Agenta delivers.”
Moreno is responsible for new business development and account retention for Amadeus North America’s small and independent travel agency customer base. He focuses on helping smaller, home-based, or start-up travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada find the right Amadeus solutions and services for their business. This includes Amadeus' traditional GDS-based selling platforms, Amadeus Agenta hosted programs, and other offerings designed to serve their specific agency needs. Hel has more than 30 years of travel industry expertise.
Under the Amadeus Agenta model, member agents will keep 100 percent of their commissions. They will also get access to a wide range of services including membership in Vacation.com and the hosting and fulfillment services of the Uniglobe Travel Center in the U.S. and Merit Travel Group in Canada.
Amadeus first launched Agenta in the U.S. in 2004, Moreno notes, to assist U.S. agencies who were struggling, especially in light of the post 9/11 aftermath which resulted in significant agency declines. In subsequent years, Moreno said Amadeus continued to evolve and change its home-based offerings, but now the time is right to bring back Agenta.
“Times have changed. The market has clearly changed. The small agency – often home based or cruise only –is clearly delivering value to customers. They are also a valued and growing part of the agency distribution system. Amadeus Agenta will serve this market segment and deliver real value and tremendous affordable support,” Moreno says.
To join the new powerhouse, agencies will pay a one-time startup fee of $199 and monthly fee of $65 (which includes two licenses). This gives the agency flexibility and affordability, Moreno believes, and delivers genuine value to the agency. Moreno added that a key qualifier for member agents is that they have some experience in the industry.
Moreno notes that Amadeus Agenta is one element in Amadeus North America’s focus on serving the specialized needs of independent and home based agencies. He also sees growth opportunities in Canada where the Merit Travel Group will handle hosting and fulfillment for Agenta.
As part of this, Amadeus intends to expand its Agenta capabilities and other home-based offerings in the future, including the addition of non-hosted solutions, more leisure and non-air product and Moreno pledges sustained responsiveness to member agents’ needs. “We are continuing to make an investment and commitment.”
Key features of the Agenta program include the Amadeus Selling Platform with access to GDS and non-GDS content and full administrative support including hosting, fulfillment, ticketing, invoicing, itineraries, billing and redemption. Also, Agenta offers detailed tracking and business management tools for bookings, commissions, revenue, expenses and service fees.
In addition to comprehensive online training and support, U.S. agents gain an individual Vacation.com membership. This includes access to highest tier commissions, as well as Engagement marketing program and conference attendance. Canadian member agents gain access to Merit Travel’s “Try That,” golf, ski and exclusive cruise vacation packages and Soft Voyage’s SIREV platform.
Agenta is far more than a technology platform, but brings business efficiency, lower operating costs and tools to build a successful business and to provide clients with superior services. “It enables the agency to be successful entrepreneurs in a very competitive business.”
Agenta also delivers management tools which will free agents from time consuming administrative chores and overhead costs allowing them to focus on sales and client relations.
For more information, agencies can contact 1.800.AMADEUS (US); 1.888.611.5554 (Canada); or email [email protected].