TRAVELSAVERS has announced that it has left the ITAA (Independent Travel Agents Alliance).ÊThe international travel marketing groupÊsigned up to this alliance over a year ago, but has decided to disassociate itself from the organization because TRAVELSAVERS’ executive team felt that the benefits received by its members were not strong enough to justify continuing the alliance.
ÊThe ITAA was comprised of Worldchoice, Mid-Consort, the TTA and TRAVELSAVERS.Ê The rationale that underpinned the organisation was that each member would bring something unique to the ‘party’ so that all could be beneficiaries. TRAVELSAVERS’ strengths were seen to be in the corporate arena because ofÊits products/services such as TRAVEL HELPLINE, CorpXpress andÊits Preferred Worldwide Corporate Hotel Rate Programme.
Dominic Burke, managing director, TRAVELSAVERS Europe felt that the alliance was not delivering tangible benefits to TRAVELSAVERS’ members: “The inference was that Worldchoice, as the largest entity within the alliance, would enable the other three parties to ‘piggyback’ on their leisure deals with major suppliers in a manner that would not be otherwise possible. In other words, this was to be a symbiotic relationship.Ê After over a year of meetings this did not happen, and our members were not benefiting from our ITAA membership,’ commented Burke.
TRAVELSAVERS believes that it is one of the most effective independent agency groups in the UK and is determined to recruit many new members over the next 12 months.Ê Burke noted that continued association with the ITAA would have hindered these plans:Ê ‘A further aspect of the ITAA was that each parties’ members would be off-limits to the other partners.Ê This was a major stumbling block for Travelsavers.Ê As we move into 2005, I want to ensure that there are absolutely no factors inhibiting the ability of our sales development managers to target whosoever they wish—including members of both Worldchoice and Mid-Consort,’ added Burke.