Thomson agents lose out to the internet

Thomson has dealt independent travel agents a further blow by announcing more cuts to commission as part of a major shake up in the way the company sells its holidays, flights and hotels.Thomson chief executive Peter Rothwell said the company is not prepared to pay travel agents high commission fees and wants to channel sales directly through its own high street shops, website and call centres.
In the past travel companies such as Thomson have relied on agents as one of the main distribution channels. But as consumers become increasingly confident to buy holidays directly through the internet, Thomson is forcing the pace of change in the travel industry.
The latest move will see Thomson end its relationship with selected independent travel agents altogether and reduce commission payments with others.
Since Thomson launched its first round of commission cuts six months ago the company has invested more in marketing directly to consumers. Around 75 per cent of Thomson’s business now comes through its own website, call centres and holiday shops. The company expects web sales in particular to accelerate over the next few years.