Multiple agencies are outperforming independent rivals

Multiple agencies are outperforming independent rivals

Multiple agencies are outperforming their independent rivals in product sales, particularly in domestic and cruise.

Superbreak sales director Ian Mounser said multiples are also much stronger in selling airport add-ons as companies increasingly focus on maximising booking values.

He said the operator had seen airport bookings, including car parking, overnight accommodation and lounges increase by 38%, prompted partly by a new deal it has with TUI Travel. Its Thomas Cook bookings are already up by 20%.

Mounser said: “Multiples work harder at selling [add-ons] to the customer and converting, while independents have always been more reluctant to push these products.

“[Independents] are missing out big time this year more than any other, they have got to start pushing the products.”

Mounser added a similar trend had been seen in domestic sales. He said bookings had risen by 14% overall, but both Thomson and Thomas Cook had both seen a 20% increase.Overall, the big two account for up to 45% of all agency sales.

Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick agreed the multiples, including The Co-operative Travel network, were stronger, having registered a 36% increase in sales since November as opposed to a 10%-15% increase registered by independents.

He added: “What the multiples can do effectively is drive policy down to their agents from head office. If they decide they want to drive a particular product then they are more able to do that than a consortium, while the volume effect is also much greater.”

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines general sales manager Lol Nichols agreed the multiples had stolen a march on the independent market as the big two and The Co-operative Travel agents have 20% more passengers booked for 2009 year on year, while independents have seen a 20% drop.


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