Mark Warner is personalising agent incentives in a bid to increase sales through the trade to 30% as it seeks to attract a new generation of customers.
The operator believes agents offer the best opportunity to communicate the brand’s unique selling points after revitalising its flying programme, with more family-friendly Saturday morning departures.
Head of marketing Tim Locke said the trade accounts for 18% of its summer business and he would like to see that pushed to more than 20% this year.
“The trade should be close to 30% of our business,” he said. “Where we are going as a business is new product and ultimately, we need to go for new customers and we cannot do that without the right trade partnerships.”
Although Mark Warner has not changed its basic commission structure, it will tailor its agency remuneration packages for agent partners based on their scale and growth potential, Locke said.
And, aware that agents increasingly find it difficult to take time out of the office to attend fam trips, it is offering agents the chance to go on Mark Warner holidays free of charge if agreed targets are hit.
David Hopkins, managing director, said he “would be delighted” if the operator has paid a “whole load more commission” by the end of the year.
“It’s absolutely key to explain what we do and the value of what we do. That’s a key message for agents because perhaps there has been a perception that Mark Warner is unaffordable for some of their clients.”
Hopkins said the operator was looking to expand its geographic reach having opened Levante Beach Resort in Rhodes this year. It pulled out of Egypt last year and is looking at Cyprus. Hopkins said it would also consider the Canary Islands.
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