Current commission arrangements for agents selling rail travel are being extended for a further three years under a new deal.
The new arrangement runs from April next year until March 2019 and will be renewed annually on a three-year rolling basis.
This means that travel management companies (TMCs) will have a three-year view of commission rates when they enter into new agreements with their corporate clients.
The new deal was thrashed out over six months of consultation between the Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc), senior members of the GTMC and the Advantage Travel Partnership, in conjunction with train operating companies.
Details of the remuneration for Atoc-licensed travel agents was not disclosed but a new liaison group between TMCs and train operating companies is being established to meet up to three times a year to discuss a broad range of industry issues, such as technology, product development and training.
TMCs and the train operators also identified a number of initiatives which could be used to target specific opportunities to drive mutual growth, Atoc announced.
These have been brought together in a toolkit of potential bilateral arrangements which TMCs and train companies can choose from.
Anthony Rissbrook, chairman of the GTMC surface transport strategy group, said: “Our great success throughout the extensive consultation process between the GTMC, Atoc and the participating train operating companies has been achieving a much better understanding of each party’s business models.
“There is now a clear recognition of the value that the travel management sector can deliver to our mutual customers. There is also a true understanding of the potential growth that can come from this sector if all parties work closely together.”
Advantage Travel Partnership corporate director, Ken McLeod, added: “This is a very positive step for both TMCs and train operating companies, and provides an excellent base on which to build and continue relationships, whilst growing business for all stakeholders.
“This has been a long journey for all of us, and I would like to thank the GTMC for their lead role, and to Atoc, in finalising this initiative, and we look forward to Advantage participating in the new TMC-train operating companies liaison group moving forward.”
Atoc head of third party retailing, Nick Bamford, said: “We are very pleased to have agreed this new rolling deal with the GTMC and Advantage, which we are confident will bring longer term stability and new growth opportunities for both train operating companies and TMCs.”
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