Almost all of the agents polled by new travel field sales agency Flexi Reps said that face-to-face visits from suppliers are “more important than ever”.

Launched by Craig Davidson in August, the business has surveyed 260 travel agents on Facebook and LinkedIn.

It found that 93% agreed that visits from reps are “more important than ever”, as agents strive to keep up to date with suppliers’ plans, product news, promotions and incentives for 2021.

Carol Ann from Hays Travel in Hornchurch commented on the poll: “It’s so helpful when the reps come in; they show us all the tips on their website; give us incentive and destination information. Invaluable.”

Davidson commented: “Tour operators are switching capacity and adding new destinations; cruise itineraries are shifting; and destination offerings are changing.

“At the same time consumers are turning to travel agents more than ever for advice. We understand fully why costs have had to be cut but would urge brands to think about their trade strategy.”

MoreMore than 50 recruits sign up with Flexi Reps

Craig Davidson launches trade sales and marketing venture

Flexi Reps has added a new service to its offering, enabling suppliers to choose reps from a shortlist of candidates who can help with a particular project.

Davidson: “What’s been clear in the conversations we’ve had with a wide range of suppliers is their desire to control the selection process.

“All brands have their own personality and are specific on who they want representing them.

“Everyone we’ve spoke to loves the fact they are in control of who they use for their agent blitzes.”