Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
Most suppliers develop their agent booking tools for brick-and-mortar travel agencies, and then make any necessary tweaks for the home-based market further down the road. Not Agencia Global.
The company says its online-based B2B platform has the lowest consolidator airfares on the market – with hotels and car rentals coming soon – and was developed specifically with home-based agents in mind, says CEO Ryan Saroli.
Agencia Global launched in November 2017 “and immediately attracted home-based agents”, says Saroli in an interview with Sphere.
Volume with home-based agents has grown rapidly and is expected to trend in the same direction, he adds.
Agencia Global was built for home-based agents, says Saroli. “We created the site with the home agent in mind and ensured it was easy to use, fast and offered the lowest fares on the market. We continue to add new content to Agencia Global like travel insurance to ensure home-based agents have access to everything a traditional travel agency would.”
Currently Agencia Global offers airfares and travel insurance and in 2018 will complete the integration of hotels and car rentals. The company has contracts with over 160 airlines and is also currently working with Manulife, CSA Insurance, CarTrawler and Booking.com.
Asked what he wants this market to know about Agencia Global, Saroli says: “Home-based agents should know that Agencia Global has the lowest fares on the market, period! To compliment our low fares, we ensured there was no cost to sign up and no booking fees. From a technology perspective we offer the fastest, cleanest and most efficient platform on the market.”
Currently Agencia Global allows agents to book up to nine passengers on one PNR. Agencia Global can also facilitate multi-city flights for up to five different destinations for the same passengers. Additional passengers and flights must be reserved on a separate booking.
Several thousand agents are registered with the Agencia Global tool, says Saroli. Registration is free. After registering agents gain access to Agencia’s full suite of travel tools, as well as customer support.
The company’s origins go back to the early 1990s. Montreal-based Voyages A La Carte began as a traditional travel agency in 1991. In 2012, Voyages A La Carte shifted its business model toward the air consolidation business it is today. In 2013, Voyages A La Carte USA was formed to offer content from POS USA, and in 2014 Voyages A La Carte acquired Alio. In 2017 the company launched its new B2B platform, Agencia Global.
What has been the secret to the company’s success? “I’d say it’s that we consider ourselves a technology company first, which is much needed in the travel industry. We’re able to provide effective travel solutions for our travel agent customers for a fraction of the price our competitors charge. This allows travel agents access to more comprehensive content without the fees or markups they’re used to.”
He added: “I don’t think Canadian travel agents or home-based agents have a simple and effective tool that makes the booking process enjoyable. Agents are also at the mercy of consolidators when it comes to the rates they pay. The inefficiencies of consolidators have cost travel agents money, and we’ve developed a product that solves that problem.”
This year and next Agencia Global will look at improving the website and adding more features, says Saroli. “Our development team is constantly looking at user experience and our support team is listening to what the agents want.”
For more information on Agencia Global’s suite of offerings, go to agenciaglobal.com.