THRIFTY UK has turned its back on the trade and decided to concentrate on direct sales.
The car hire company says it can't compete with the high commission rates and attractive incentives offered to travel agents by its rivals in the cut-throat market.
It launched a campaign last year to boost trade bookings from 10% of its total sales to 30% using an incentive scheme, Planet Thrifty. This paid agents 15% commission and gave out £10 vouchers for Planet Hollywood and HMV. But the scheme was unsuccessful.
Head of international reservations and sales Sarah Sweetman said: "The strategy now is to market to the public instead of to the trade.
"Planet Thrifty was launched successfully and went well but when the competition started offering 25% commission, free digital TVs and weekends away, what we were offering was not enough.
"It's not that we don't want agents to sign up for Planet Thrifty, we do, and it is still on offer - it's just that we will no longer be actively marketing at the trade."
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