Are the big players interested in buying smaller agencies? Well, it depends on who you ask.
TORONTO — The Travel Agent Next Door is making major moves – into regions, no less.
To benefit both agents and suppliers, the company has announced that it is organizing itself into regions, making it the first host agency in Canada to do so.
Traditionally, host agencies are considered by suppliers to be only one agency, meaning that they’re served by only one Business Development Manager (BDM) or Sales representative. This has proven to be a challenge for agents across Canada who aren’t linked with their local or regional BDM or sales rep.
“As we grew, we recognized that our agents were losing out because they were not recognized by suppliers regionally, and thus they were missing out on local support and recognition,” said Flemming Friisdahl, Founder, The Travel Agent Next Door. “By creating four regions, we have ensured that our agents are seen by their local BDMs and reps – and their performance shows up on each BDM’s reports.”
What this means, Friisdahl added, is that agents will be invited to supplier events like ship inspections by that supplier, based on their performance. It also means agents will receive training and local marketing support.
With the regional move, The Travel Agent Next Door’s agents and hosted agencies will now receive direct support from regional reps and BDMs, including training, resolution, marketing and consumer evenings support. Plus, they’ll receive recognition for their sales production and get the chance to grow their business by working directly with their local supplier rep or BDM.
But as Friisdahl is quick to note, the move isn’t just one-sided. “This approach also benefits suppliers,” he said. “Tour operators, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies, tourist boards, etc., will now have insight into where to focus their efforts via their local reps and BDMs to assist in growing their business on a national scale.”