Travel Gossip Managing Director Bruce Martin has decided to welcome Inteletravel agents into Travel Gossip’s Facebook group. Here he explains why he feels the time is right to end a four-year ban:
““The Travel Gossip group started 12 years ago this week, it started with the simple idea of being an inclusive group for working in travel; people who sell travel and people working for companies that provide products and services to travel.
Four years ago we went against this principle and banned Inteletravel agents from joining the group. Back then there was a lot of concern from members about Inteletravel’s lack of ABTA & ATOL. There were also valid concerns about their recruitment practices and lack of training.
Much has improved at Inteletravel in those four years and, to be honest, I cannot justify treating Inteletravel agents any different from agents from other consortia.
Let me explain my reasons:
1. Inteletravel now have their ABTA and ATOL
2. Many travel suppliers now work with Inteletravel and are selling a lot of product as a result
3. Inteletravel agents are supportive of travel agent roadshows and virtual events, happy to give up their time to learn more. I meet them at events and they tell me they were worried about coming for fear of other agents’ reactions.
4. They are here to stay and are part of today’s travel trade ecosystem. I believe it is time to welcome and work with them
5. Several other consortia take on ‘new to travel’ agents too, Inteletravel aren’t the only ones who look to bring inexperienced people into our industry
6. I have heard and believe that their training is much improved
I have been declining requests from Inteletravel agents to join Travel Gossip on a daily basis for four years. I can’t go on doing this for years to come. I feel bad denying people the opportunity to benefit from our supportive group, just because they have chosen to join one consortia over another.
I intend to accept 100 Inteletravel agents initially and see how it goes. If the sky falls in, then I will rethink. But I’m sure it will be fine and, if so, I will accept more. Please join me in making them feel welcome.
Please be assured this is a personal decision and no payment has been made to me or to Travel Gossip.”