Many agents have given the thumbs up to TUI’s message urging independents not to offer to beat its online price.
Travel Gossip reported earlier this week that TUI had emailed some agents to say it wasn’t happy about the price-beating message and called for any advertising that offers to price beat to be taken down.
TUI said in the email: “While agents are permitted and welcome to advertise that they sell TUI products and can match prices, promoting a price-beating message is not acceptable.”
Although some agents said TUI can’t enforce the practice, several agents posted on the Travel Gossip Facebook page to say they agree with the operator’s stance,
They warned undercutting is not in the best interest of the industry, with one saying it ‘screams desperation and devalues the product’.
Homeworker Kieran Miller, who runs Magical Traveller in Bristol, said: “I’m glad they [TUI] are speaking up. This Peaks I feel it’s out of hand the number of agents saying they will beat any quote.”
He added: “The number of agents resorting to promoting they will beat any price is driving profit down, and training customers to play us against each other, meaning we all have to work so much harder, and not sell on service and quality.”
He warned: “The tour operators like TUI will be less likely to work with agents or offer us competitive rates if we’re creating a market where it’s cheaper to book via an agent than direct, undercutting and devaluing their own product.”
Meanwhile, TUI UK appeared to tone down the ‘no-price beating’ message in a statement issued to Travel Gossip.
A TUI spokesperson said: “We are thrilled to be working closely with independent agents again and have seen strong sales from our partners over the Peak booking period.
“Agents can of course discount as they see fit however, we hope our great products, promo codes and low deposits will support them in achieving sales conversion.”