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Despite fierce competition and the fluctuating nature of the travel industry, the demand for travel is not showing signs of slowing down. Rather, travel advisors have seen an influx of customers spending more on their travels, even when one of the largest pain points for all generations across the board is affordability and remaining in budget. Travelers are eager to get out and see the world.
In fact, 73% and 70% of Gen Z and Millennials respectively are spending more on travel in 2022 than they would have pre-COVID-19, and overall more people than ever are intending to travel from 2022 onwards.
So, when pondering how to maximize your commission and capitalize on this demand, we have a few pointers to ensure you’re reaping all the benefits you deserve.
Take Advantage Of Access To Vendors Through A Bedbank
Many independent travel advisors have to go through the rigmarole of setting up a list of preferred vendors and cultivate prosperous relationships with them.
One of the advantages of working with a bedbank such as Hotelbeds is that these close relationships are already facilitated, reducing the amount of work that would typically be required of travel advisors. In addition to reduced effort and pressure on the advisor to to source, manage and refine working relationships with vendors, you can rest assured that the properties in our 300,000-strong portfolio are quality assured and that – critically – you have access to the best negotiated prices.
Focus On A Niche
Perhaps there’s a certain share of the market that you’ve managed to carve for yourself, either working for a host travel agency, or as an independent travel advisor. This can come in handy when figuring out how to maximize your commission.
High End Products/Experiences
When calculating commission, of course you can earn more by selling high-end or luxury packages. Consider your clientele, the demographics that purchase most regularly from you and your local market – would you be able to focus on building a majority clientele base who exclusively book luxury vacations? These clients not only bring in more revenue for you, but they also tend to seek out the expertise of travel advisors consistently.
Many travelers who purchase high-end products want the services and expertise of travel advisors more than those just looking to get away somewhere new – this is because many high-ticket clients don’t have the time to book the sort of experience you as an advisor can curate, and thus charge higher commission rates for.
‘Friendcations’ have seen an exponential growth since in 2022, with people reuniting with loved ones all over the globe after a few years apart. Amadeus has noted a significant rise in searches for destinations like Cancun, Cartagena, Hawaii, Barcelona and Ibiza – all popular with groups – as people look to meet up with friends somewhere new.
While you might not be able to focus exclusively on group bookings, accommodating for this notable travel trend is a sure-fire way to maximize your commission. Though these bookings can sometimes add extra steps to the process, working with groups presents serious benefits when it comes to the level of commission that you can charge for the services you provide and the package experience that you put together.
Of course, the logistics of large-scale vacations are made easier with an intuitive, timesaving booking platform like the Booking Engine from Bedsonline.
• Easily create, save, and favorite quotes to share with customers whilst keeping track of their details
• Build extensive itineraries with integrated cross-selling
• Refine your searches with time-saving filter options – 20+ to choose from!
People are happy to spend more on bespoke experiences, slow travel, and to make their trips sustainable. Another survey from Amadeus found that two thirds of consumers consider sustainable travel a priority in 2022, a notion which the Expedia Group Traveler Index also supports, having found that 59% are willing to increase their spend to make their vacations more sustainable.
This, combined with your expertise, offers a prime opportunity to boost your commission and earn an amount reflective of the services you provide.
After all, you’re offering the time, dedication and expertise that OTAs just cannot – you deserve it!
Use Admin Fees
Unsurprisingly, many travelers tend agree that their experience when booking with an advisor is better than planning a vacation alone. With this in mind, why not consider adding an admin fee to each booking to ensure that you’re correctly compensated for your efforts?
Of course, it’s important to add value to your customer’s experience, to make it worth the admin fee – but many advisors spend hours curating tailored vacations, adapting and amending to suit each client on an individual basis.
Perceived value is everything. Make it clear what your clients will receive when they book with you, and that your time is valuable.
Our Admin Fees tool allows you to:
• Easily add in an admin fee representative of the hard work you put into each booking
• Add this fee at the time of booking for seamless service
• Choose whether to include this in your itemized bill, visible to the final client, or not - giving you full flexibility based on your customer relationship
Admin Fees Can Work Alongside Commission Adjustments
You want to attract customers with enticing prices, and sometimes that could mean compromising your commission to draw them into booking with you.
So we’ve asked the question, why should your commissions suffer in order to remain competitive?
Charging an admin fee means you don’t lose out on valuable commission, earning an amount reflective of your expertise and the hours spent crafting that perfect vacation.
For example, if you’ve used our Commission Adjustment Tool – available in the Booking Engine – to attract a customer, it will lower your commission.
However, when you charge an admin fee, you can ensure that you’re remaining competitive enough to match or beat your competitors’ prices, without compromising too much by accepting a revenue that’s not reflective of your expertise, time, and hard work.
Press The Travel Advisor Advantage
By 2018, bookings made through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) accounted for 51% of all US hotel and lodging reservations online. And this pattern is similarly repeating on a global scale.
In the US, there are only a handful of companies that control 95% of the online travel market.
The reach of OTAs in the general travel market has been expanding at a rapid rate and shows no sign of slowing.
So, to remain relevant and grow your market share in an increasingly OTA-saturated industry, the benefits of booking with you as a travel advisor must be emphasized to existing and potential clients. Especially when it comes to the fact of charging commission.
It’s critical that your clients understand the benefits you’re offering, and that they are therefore satisfied enough to be willing to pay a higher commission rate when booking with you.
Consider some of these stats when wondering how to position your benefits:
• Travelers are spending more than ever, so this is a key chance to share with clients that you have the best access to ancillary products. Often, it's cheaper for travelers to book additional activities ahead of time - and who doesn't like to save money where they can?
• In 2017, travel advisors could save travelers on average $452 per trip through access to exclusive deals – and this figure is only likely to have gone up since then! 44% of travelers who had not used travel advisors previously are now likely to book with one – including 66% of 18-24-year-olds. Deliver seamless service, personalized communication and get your booking process streamlined to ensure you’re capitalizing on travelers’ increasing desire for expertise when planning their vacations.
• Pre-pandemic, 66% of travelers believed that booking with their advisor saved them costly mistakes and inconveniences at the planning stage, and during their stay. With the increase in COVID-19 documentation, vaccine passports, quarantines and changing legislation, this will be even higher!
Top tip: Using a travel forecast and search platform like The Compass from Bedsonline can provide invaluable data to keep up with and preempt trends to capture your market’s attention, before they find these deals somewhere else.
You can afford to press your advantage when it comes to offering experiences that travelers might not have access to alone, when your expertise in your market means you can save money for your customers, and because of your portfolio and the connections this opens up that may otherwise be hard for a solitary traveler to find.
This makes you worth higher commission levels and additional admin fees.