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Agency owners explain their move to a host agency

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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When and how will tourism rebound? A difficult question because of so many outside factors – when will borders open up and which ones? When and where will airlines operate to again? When will hotels and resorts open up? Will travel insurance be available and when? And of course, when will people feel safe to travel again and where will they want to go?

With all of this uncertainty, this is a particularly tough time for travel agencies – which also makes this a really appropriate time to think about options. With rent payments due and all sorts of other fees and commitments, is it time to look at alternatives?

These agency owners explain why joining The Travel Agent Next Door was the right choice for them …

Mike Babiak, Now Travel Group: “I had a very successful retail location in the GTA, however with less than 5% to 8% of consumers coming to visit my location, I made the decision to take my operation home-based with TTAND to help reduce costs, salvage my agency’s bookings, but most importantly, keep my agency’s name and reputation. Thankfully, we were able to complete a successful move to TTAND right before COVID-19 happened. Being a part of TTAND during this has been a life-saver and took a lot of stress out of my life because I have no bills to worry about anymore which has helped me weather the storm during this difficult time.”

Christine Fazackerley, Battlefield Travel : “We enjoyed having a storefront location for 30 plus years and loved it. However the world is changing and we were not getting as many in store visits. So we made the decision in January to close the shop and join TTAND. Not only was the timing perfect with everything going on with COVID-19 —it has worked out perfectly. We are still running our own business with our own branding plus getting to keep more of our hard earned money at the end of the day, as we have no large expenses. TTAND provide an amazing website, along with beautiful marketing and even print marketing. This was the best decision we could have made at this stage of our lives.”

These agents are saying in their own words why joining TTAND was the right decision for them at the right time. They were getting very few clients visiting their offices, they now have almost no fixed costs other than their fees and all of the back office is taken care of for them.

And here are some answers to questions agencies always ask:

Q: ‘Who owns and runs the business?’
A: You always own and run the business and make all decisions for it, adhering to TICO requirements.

Q: ‘Do I lose my branding / agency name / logo?’
A: No….you retain 100% name, branding, logos. There is no requirement to have the Travel Agent Next Door branding.

Q: ‘Can I still retain salaried employees? / Can I build a network of outside agents?’
A: Yes, you can retain employees (you pay) . Yes, you can have outside agents and they can be paid by TTAND reducing your admin and back office.

Q: ‘Will I have cost savings? Am I adding costs?’
A: TTAND has the ability to eliminate or reduce your costs significantly including phone systems, licensing & IATA fees, insurances, print /e-marketing, website costs, bank fees, accounting fees, admin staff, etc.

Q: ‘I am unsure if this is a fit for our agency?’
A: That’s understandable. Why not have a no-obligation call with TTAND to simply understand their solution that many agencies are taking advantage of.

Jill Wykes

Jill Wykes is a travel industry veteran who has held a series of senior management portfolios in travel corporations. A former chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario, she is now an independent communications consultant and writer since retiring in 2011.
Jill Wykes
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