Accommodation is now more important to travel agents than air, according to booking statistics released today by Top Dog Travel Systems.
Analysis of 1,000 bookings made by agents and operators through the Top Dog Booking System found that almost 70% (693) of transactions were with accommodation providers.
Of the remaining reservations, 217 were with charter carriers and just 90 with low-cost airlines. The poll was based on a random sample of 1000 reservations completed using Top Dog’s XML connectivity to suppliers including Easyjet, Avro and Medhotels.
Simon Andrews, Top Dog Travel Systems’ sales director said: “The effect of airlines’ and charter flight operators’ commission cutting could not be clearer. Agents are now hunting elsewhere to make money and a bed now beats a flight any day. Hotels are offering higher margins and XML technology is making it easier than ever for the trade to source and sell accommodation. Hotels are now key to trade profits.
“However, agents mustn’t give up on air, or it will signal to consumers that independent holidays are best booked direct. Agents have to show they can handle the booking in full, and should be the customers’ preferred booking channel because of service even if they have to forego commission on airfares.”
Top Dog’s Booking System links to hotel providers including MedHotels, Hotelconnect and Hotelbeds.com, allowing agents to source availability from destinations worldwide and complete reservations in real-time both within their own and end suppliers’ systems. The platform is suitable for high street agents, homeworkers, call centres and websites.
Andrews added: “Top Dog Travel Systems’ goal is to enable agents and operators to compete in the travel industry’s new marketplace. We’re devoting considerable resources to understanding how the sector is evolving through the use of technology, and are delivering systems that help our clients take advantage of new opportunities while keeping a firm handle on costs.”