BRITISH Airways Holidays is slashing commission on golfing holidays by introducing a flat fee of £35 per couple for bookings made from November 1.
The company's average selling price for its golf product is £500, and for the past two years it has paid agents 10% commission perperson.
Before that, a flat fee applied per booking, no matter how many people were in the party, but commission was then introduced to stimulate trade interest.
National sales manager Paul Williams blamed the move on increasing competition from direct-sell operators which had hit BAH's business.
He said the plan to reintroduce a flat fee had allowed the company to freeze prices in its new brochure, Club Golf, which covers the year from November 1.
"I understand from a travel agent's point of view they think we are taking commission away from them," said Williams. "But the whole thing needs to be looked at in the context of what is happening in the market."
He said most golf clients liked to book direct and 60% of BAH's business already came direct.
ABTA Travel Agents' Council chairman Stephen Bath said BAH's decision was understandable. "Travel agents generally don't know a great deal about golf holidays and it doesn't take a golfer long to work that out," he said.
Longshot Golf Holidays managing director Mark Olszowski said it planned to stick to its policy of offering 10% basic commission to agents for its 2000 programme.
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