Every captain needs a first mate. And at Virgin Voyages, the adults-only cruise line set to debut in 2020, its second-in-command will be none other than travel agents.
TORONTO — For agents who find it time-consuming – and confusing – to search through countless airfares for their clients, Agencia Global has a solution.
The online-based platform provides the lowest consolidator airfare on the market, says the company, and empowers travel agents with a simple and effective tool at no cost to the user. It has no booking fees and no markup on net fares.
Travelweek talked to Ryan Saroli, CEO of Agencia Global, to learn more about the B2B platform and how it can benefit agents:
Q: Tell us about the company’s origins.
A: Voyages A La Carte is based in Montreal and 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, a tour operator. Then in 2017, we launched our new B2B platform, Agencia Global.
Q: What kind of products do you offer, and which suppliers do you work with?
A: Currently, Agencia Global offers airfare, travel insurance and will soon complete the integration of hotels and car rentals. We are currently working with Manulife, CSA Insurance, CarTrawler and Booking.com. We also have contracts with over 160 airlines.
Q: How many passengers and flights can agents book at a time?
A: Currently, Agencia Global allows an agent to book up to nine passengers on one PNR. Also, Agencia Global can 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.
Q: What is unique to Agencia?
A: Agencia is the only consolidator tool available to travel agents that has no cost to sign up, no booking fees and no markup on nets. Agencia also provides the easiest, fastest and cleanest consolidator tool online while providing customer support based in Canada to support all of our tools.
Q: How many Canadian travel agents are currently registered? And what do they receive with their registration?
A: Agencia Global already has several thousand agents registered with the tool. It is free to register. After registering, travel agents gain access to Agencia’s full suite of travel tools, as well as our customer support.
Q: What has been the secret to the company’s success?
A: 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.
Q: What are the biggest challenges Canadian agents face today, and how can Agencia help them overcome them?
A: 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.
Q: What’s new for the company in 2018/2019?
A: Agencia will constantly be improving the website and add features that travel agents are looking for. 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.