Practice of working with agents is increasing as business returns
Suppliers are transferring larger numbers of calls to agents as business surges back in 2011. But while some offer this to agents in the same geographical area as the customer, others appear to have preferences as to which agencies they work with.
Moving direct business to travel agents is especially useful for suppliers during periods where there is a high volume of requests from new potential customers. Agents also have the kind of specialist knowledge that can point customers to the most appropriate products.
Operators may, for example, make the suggestion during the initial call that customers use a travel agent. They then do a search of agents who can help, possibly based on the geographical area the customer is calling from. However, while not all suppliers admit it, some of them have longstanding preferred partners for this purpose, and pay commission to the agents who close the deal.
[pictured: Gunung Ledang, Malaysia; courtesy Malaysia Tourism]