Every agency in the world has a preferred vendor list and a lot of things go into determining who goes on that list. But how do YOU as an agent decide who to book with? Like anything else in life, we all have our go-to choices who are comfortable for us to work with. But have you ever taken the time to shop another preferred vendor to see how they compare? Are you missing out on opportunities?

This is probably most important when working with wholesalers like Funjet, Travel Impressions, Pleasant Holidays, etc. Not only does the commission rate vary from vendor to vendor, but some of these vendors have different benefits for you. You can earn points that you can redeem for your own travel or products you can order. Why not get some additional benefit from your bookings if you can do so while getting your client a great value for their budget?

A lot of new agents think they are going to get a better deal if they go direct to a hotel or resort for their client’s reservation, but that’s not the case. First, if you book with a wholesaler you get to take advantage of their buying power. You might be booking a dozen room nights with that resort during the year, but the wholesaler probably does hundreds. That means better pricing for sure, but it also means that they likely have negotiated some added benefits for your clients. Sometimes that means complimentary breakfast, upgrades, dining or spa credits, and more. More importantly, if something goes wrong during your client’s stay who do you think is going to get quicker action? The wholesaler is going to have a contact who is going to make things happen.

Another thing to consider is yield.  You might be surprised to know that the exact reservation from one vendor might result in more money in your pocket than another (that’s the yield on the booking). Even if the commission rate is the same between two wholesalers, the actual amount of commission paid can be very different. That is because of what they consider “non-commissionable” charges. Unlike with cruises, the non-commissionable amounts aren’t always spelled out when you are working with wholesalers. But those non-commissionable charges reduce your overall commission income.

And there is one intangible that I think is important for every agent to consider: how the vendor treats travel agents. Is the provider a true partner to agents? There are a lot of companies out there that like to talk about being a best friend to travel agents, but their actions tell a different story. Sandals & Beaches are a great example. They will tell you the love travel agents, but they will do everything possible to get your clients to book direct next time. And if your clients rebook while on property, you don’t automatically get that booking. And what about Disney? If you book clients on Disney Cruise Line and they rebook while onboard, you don’t get the same level of commission. That speaks to how they really think of travel agents. You have the power to send a message with your bookings. If vendors make policies that aren’t agent-friendly, agents should consider how they want to respond. Can you book with another vendor? You should.

Now is a great time to take a look at other vendors out there and see if there are better options out there. It could make a big difference in your bottom line!

Gifted Travel Network, Inc. | 425 E. Statesville, Suite 101, Mooresville, NC 28115 | (877) 982‐2842

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