Hays Travel is breaking with convention by launching a “significant” mid-summer recruitment drive for its Independence Group and Personal Travel Consultants (PTC).
The group usually recruits new members in September as the summer tends to be a quieter period in recruitment terms, said Linda Pyle, head of Hays Travel Independence Group.
But with many agents reconsidering their business models and consortium membership because of Flight-Plus regulation, plus Hays’ recent launch of a tour operator selling system, iTour, which allows agents to act as operators, she believes it is the “right time” to recruit.
“It is a difficult time to recruit but agents will need to show Atol certificates from October 1 and are thinking about whether their model, commercial terms and merchant facilities are right,” she said.
She remained unconcerned by rival start-ups, from Broadway Travel and Midcounties Co-operative. “There is room for everyone but it would be stupid to be complacent,” she said.
Agents can package up their own holidays for clients and issue one receipt under iTour, protected under Hays Travel’s Atol. “We believe there are lots of agents wanting to differentiate themselves and this allows them to offer something different such as pre and post-cruise hotel stays,” she said.
Four existing Independence Group members have adopted iTour and two are in the process of doing so. The group has more than 200 agents and about 80 PTCs.
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