Advantage hails success of strategic plan

Advantage hails success of strategic plan

The Advantage Travel Partnership claims to have seen the commercial benefits of membership increase by over a third last year.

Delegates at this year’s annual overseas conference in Bodrum, Turkey, were told the average annual benefit of membership in the year to September 2014 was £24,000.

Julia Lo Bue-Said gave an update on Advantage’s Vision 2020 strategic plan saying the consortium has re-engineered its activities to work in closer partnership with members.

“Everything we do is all about demonstrating value back to our members. We see ourselves as business consultants focused on how we can help to really drive change.

“The more we can identify what’s important for you, the more commitment we can get from members, the more we are able to deliver.

“It’s all about membership benefit. If you are not prospering we are failing. This past 12 months has been really about engaging with our members.”

The consortium says this year it will return a total of £500,000 worth of value to members this year, mainly in the form of incentives, up by £150,000 on last year.

Key areas for investment will be on technology, including the Advantage Gateway web selling platform, its internal Customer Relationship Management system and training.

The Advantage Managed Services (AMS) membership which looks after back office administration for members, has seen turnover rise 13% year on year to £43 million.

Average booking values for the 21 AMS agents are up 3.5% with higher margins achieved than non-AMS members, said Bue-Said.

Advantage aims to hit £100 million AMS turnover by 2020 and with 10% of its membership due to reach retirement age within the next 10 years is offering help with exit strategies.

Advantage currently has 39 active consultancy partnerships with members ranging from business planning to human resources.

Last year the group delivered training programmes to 350 individuals in both the leisure and business travel sectors.

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