Scottish homeworkers underpinning the travel industry will be a focus next year for the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association as the effects of Brexit and New Distribution Capability (NDC) take hold.

Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) president Ken McLeod made the pledge towards the end of his first year in the role.

He told Travel Weekly: “There is this underpinning culture of individuals, who have loads of contacts and are making bookings.

“That is changing the dynamics slightly, so how do suppliers get access to them? They are not known on the high street because they are sitting at home.

“We are one of the few routes to market for those suppliers that is something that we need to build on with our associate [members] so we can continue that communication for them.

“It goes both ways, because those guys who sell the product want to know more about the product as well.

Despite McLeod admitting there were “astonishing” number of homeworkers that the SPAA was unaware of, he said its membership was the strongest it’s ever been.

Currently, more than 120 agencies and nearly 100 associate members were now a part of the trade association.

SPAA members, including homeworkers, have access to around 16 events each year.

McLeod said: “It gives them confidence to know that they can share problems with each other [at SPAA events].

“They value that attachment when they come to these events, awards and dinners and they can have conversations locally.”

On the issue of NDC, McLeod admitted that the full impact for travel agents would not be felt until the end of 2019 – a year in which Britain will also leave the EU.

“I align NDC to Brexit because of the unknown and the uncertainty,” he said. “I think it is going to be one of the big issues of the year.”

McLeod also said he was “positive” about 2019, and that he was maintaining the SPAA’s stance that it was “the voice of travel” north of the border.