Agents ditch suppliers who let them down during COVID

By Lisa James
21/04/2021
Home » Agents ditch suppliers who let them down during COVID

Travel suppliers that were slow to act during the pandemic will struggle to get business from agents who felt they were left to pick up the pieces and who are now only working with trustworthy partners.

In a survey of Travel Gossip’s agency members, many said they are now being choosy about the suppliers they sell.

“I’m making better choices in terms of who I will use to book holidays, using operators such as Jet2, for example, who have been exemplary throughout,” one respondent said.

Another revealed: “We’ve limited the tour operators we work with relevant to how they performed during the pandemic,” while another added: “We’re choosing operators and suppliers more carefully depending on who looked after us best.”

Agents said they needed a ‘peace-of-mind guarantee’, are ‘looking more in-depth at operators’ policies’ and ‘avoiding those who didn’t put the client first’.

“Those who went above and beyond rose to the top of our list of suppliers to use in the future,” one explained.

Agents also said they are not afraid to turn away business under the current travel uncertainties.

“I’m having honest conversations with clients and I’m not being afraid to say no to some people who will throw caution to the wind,” one agent said.

She added: “As a self-employed agent I have had to make a business decision that helps not just my clients but myself as well. I’ve spent a year working flat out seven days a week for zero income and the dynamics have changed considerably.”

Another told us: “We’re accepting fewer low-value enquiries, as the time and effort required for rebooking and cancellations, as well as keeping on top of up-to-date advice so we can advise our clients, significantly outweighs the possible return.”

2022 is the main focus for overseas travel, with several agents saying they’re not ‘actively’ seeking bookings for 2021.

The survey also revealed three in four agents don’t think their clients would pay over £50 for a COVID test.

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