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An Agent’s Checklist: What Am I Looking For In A Travel Partner?

Travel agents have seemingly endless booking options for their globetrotting clients, but not all options are created equal. 

Agent success depends on the companies they choose to work with because so much is at stake – like client satisfaction, customer loyalty for the long-term, and an agent’s reputation and profitability. Travel agents require a seamless booking experience from start to finish, and they need confidence in their booking partner that their clients will enjoy a flawless travel experience. Here are the top five things for agents to consider when choosing a travel company for booking their customer business. 

The Power Of An Extensive Portfolio

Today’s travel agents are booking clients of all ages around the world – multi-generational trips to the Grand Canyon, milestone birthday celebrations in Italy, romantic honeymoons on a tropical island paradise, immersive family travel in Japan, and the list goes on. 

This wide range of travel journeys demands a partner company that offers diverse destinations, hotel products, interesting experiences, and transfer services. Exceptional choice with optimum pricing at an agent’s fingertips is essential, especially with customers’ varied tastes and budgets. Access to an extensive product portfolio makes it easier than ever for agents to customize a rave-worthy travel experience and maximize their business opportunities. 

Excite Holidays provides access to more than 350,000 accommodation options internationally, from popular hotel chains and boutique properties to well-located apartments, luxury villas and unique lodging, plus a vast range of over 100,000 activities and tour excursions. 

Commissions Count

Commissions are central to (and typically the majority of) an agent’s earnings. A company’s commission policy speaks volumes about how it values agents and that it recognizes the importance of cultivating their loyalty. While the percentage offered per booking is important, so is a proven track record of timely payments, availability of easy-to-download documentation, and opportunities to bolster earnings.

Some companies have created innovative tools that make it easier for agents to convert prospective customers and provide enhanced control over bookings. For example, Excite Holidays launched its FlexiComm feature, which enables agents to set and adjust commission levels to meet individual client needs and bolster their own earning potential, with agents typically earning an average of 12-20% per booking. 

Seamless Website Functionality 

When a website is difficult to navigate and doesn’t operate with optimal functionality, you leave the site. The same goes for agents – when it is challenging to use a travel company’s website, agents move on elsewhere. 

Travel partners that have invested resources into developing a simple, easy-to-navigate, efficient platform powered by advanced technology are more likely to get a share of an agent’s business. Technology should empower agents to streamline the search/booking process, increase revenue, and help them do their job quicker and better. 

Look for systems that provide access to competitive rates; offer instant confirmations; are intuitive and user-friendly; and allow agents to quickly filter travel options for clients, so they can create customized programs. 

Stellar Support

Round-the-clock support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is essential for agents, but there’s another level that really distinguishes a travel partner – when that support comes from a skilled, knowledgeable staff member who is not just a question-taker, but takes swift action to answer queries and solve problems, whether by phone, e-mail or live chat. 

What are a destination’s passport and visa requirements? Have cancellation policies changed? Can you assist with changing a client’s travel dates? Can you help coordinate specially curated experiences for my customers? My client just lost important documentation while traveling – can you help? Agents may require assistance pre-booking, when making a reservation, while clients are traveling, or post-trip – so confidence in their travel partner’s ability to help is vital. 

Perks Are A Plus

First and foremost, agents align with the best-possible partners that will deliver top-quality experiences for their clients. Perks for agents, though, are a great incentive to book with a first-rate travel company, too.

Explore travel partners that give agents the chance to earn points for customer bookings that can be redeemed for cash, prizes or be applied towards their own well-deserved vacation.  Rewards programs are a worthwhile way for partners to say “thank you” to agents for their continued business and help further drive the agent-partner relationship toward profitability. 

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The travel industry has no shortage of companies offering vacation options for clients, but in a flourishing marketplace, where do agents look to book? At the core, it’s about offerings that make it easier for agents to do their job, so they can enjoying profitability while their clients are thrilled with a dream travel experiences.    
 

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.
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