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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