Membership Benefits & Responsibilities

Membership Benefits & Responsibilities

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS & RESPONSIBILITIES

Membership of Travel Centres attracts exceptional benefits, many of which are listed below but in return, members are expected to adhere to a strict code of conduct in which they must not (1) use such enhanced commissions to discount in the marketplace in order to gain competitive advantage over other members or otherwise abuse the benefits of such membership and must, where possible, actively engage with the consortium by (2) supporting the consortiums’ annual conference and supplier workshop and any other national or regional meetings or get-togethers that may be organised from time to time for the benefit of members and (3) contribute to any survey requests or vox pops as may be undertaken from time to time in order to collate critical market intelligence on behalf of and for the benefit of members.

  1. Comprehensive range of enhanced commercial terms with over 40 preferred suppliers in which members can earn up to 80% more commission on occasion, without necessarily having to increase sales.
  2. Industry-leading annual conference and supplier workshop where members get to meet most preferred suppliers in one place at one time, making it a very cost and effort-effective use of their time. The annual conference also affords members the opportunity to network extensively with industry colleagues and enjoy a wide range of presentations, talks and lectures from a diverse panel of expert commentators from both within and without the industry. Hard-working and compliant members are also afforded the opportunity to compete for a wide range of awards that recognise their respective efforts in various market segments.
  3. Bi-weekly training webinars throughout the year with preferred suppliers, service providers and national and regional tourism organisations, thus negating the need for members to absorb the expense and operational shortcomings of having to release staff to attend such events at distant locations from their offices with all webinars being recorded and archived for future download.
  4. Access to places on industry educationals which many members wouldn’t ordinarily be eligible for. In future, an increasing number of these fam trips will be exclusive to Travel Centres — reinforcing our pre-eminence within the industry in terms of both size and reputation. Similar initiatives with cruising partners also result in additional invites to seminars at sea and new ship launches.
  5. Because of our size, members also enjoy exclusive promotions such as the ones we ran in conjunction with Interhome and Disneyland Paris in 2015.
  6. Such promotions and incentives are not just limited to your clients either. One such incentive in 2015 with Royal Caribbean which earned members a guaranteed 18.5% on all sales generated for the brand during that month is yet more evidence of the significant benefits of membership.
  7. ie is the consumer-facing website of Travel Centres which actively promotes the role of travel agents in general and Travel Centres’ members in particular.
  8. Travel Centres is also in the process of launching a second online presence which will trade under the travelcentres.ie URL and which will actively promote aggregate sales offerings from individual members. More information to follow on this in the coming months.
  9. Almost every week, Travel Centres publishes a Blog on travelbug.ie which promotes Travel Centres members and/or the destinations/products that they are selling.
  10. ‘Website of the week’, although a slightly whimsical effort, often requires hours of research in order to trawl the Net and bring interesting, relevant and/or productivity-enhancing online resources to the attention of members.
  11. Travel Centres underwrites the licencing costs of Word Travels, a South-African based global tourism resource that enables members to over brand, edit and print or email customisable travel guides to clients. Check out wordtravels.com
  12. The consortium hosts periodic meetings of an advisory board comprising seven owner/managers from within the group whose purpose is to navigate the consortium’s policies and direction on a myriad of issues that affect the ongoing status of choosing preferred suppliers and managing those relationships. The advisory board also acts as a conduit whereby members can maintain anonymity where necessary, when wishing to comment on or critique current Travel Centres policy decisions and/or actions. All costs associated with hosting such meetings are borne by Travel Centres.
  13. Travel Centres facilitates all members by regularly and speedily circulating details to the whole group of distressed inventory that needs to be re-sold or solutions to specific problems that need to be crowd-sourced.
  14. Head office regularly conducts flash surveys in which members’ contributions on a diverse range of subjects such as staff issues, salaries, IT-related problems, market conditions, credit card fraud, facilities for the disabled, employment contracts, job sharing, marketing programmes etc., are collated anonymously and re-shared so that members can make informed decisions on a variety of internal matters within their respective agencies.
  15. The consortium actively promotes the interests of members via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
  16. The daily maintenance and updating of Trello, the consortium’s open-source agent extranet where details of all preferred supplier communications are uploaded and collated in chronological order so that agents don’t have to waste time undertaking such filing chores in their own offices.
  17. The upgrading of the groups’ Dropbox account to an enterprise version with 1TB of cloud-based capacity for archiving of webinar recordings, industry reports, White Papers etc.
  18. The negotiation of extremely competitive credit card processing fees with Barclaycard;  telecom rates with Imagine; email/website hosting and remote IT support with Tecsupport along with negotiated additional revenue earning opportunities with the likes of The Tropical Medical Bureau (referral fees), Visa First (referral fees)and the Dublin Airport Authority (commission on Fastrack, parking and other ancillary services at Dublin airport.
  19. The design and print management of new corporate identity in respect of letterheads, business cards and compliment slips for members who wish to co-brand with pricing that starts from as little as €21 excl. vat for double-sided, full colour 1,000 cards
  20. The publication and distribution of various marketing materials on a periodic basis in support of member efforts to grow sales for preferred supplier partners such as full colour flyers, A2 posters, DL leaflets etc.
  21. The publication of the annual supplier manual which also includes detailed cheat sheets on business-relevant subjects such as ‘Selling’, ‘Handling Objections’, ‘Marketing’, ‘Public Relations’, ‘Customer Retention’, ‘Handling Complaints’, ‘Maximising Profit’, Cutting Costs’, ‘Productivity’, ‘Using Google’, ‘Using Facebook for Business’, ‘Handling Vat’, ‘Guarding against credit card fraud’ etc.
  22. The publication of ‘Why you need a travel agent’ — a 12-page DL-sized booklet that comprehensively articulates the value proposition that travel agents represents — bulk supplies of which are distributed free of charge to member agents.
  23. The publication of a full colour brochure on South America and the creation of a comprehensive range of South American itineraries which are commissionable to members at 15% and which can compete with any comparable product offering on the market.
  24. Travel Centres regularly intercedes with intermediaries and preferred suppliers on members’ behalf in order to diffuse or de-escalate potentially serious problems relating to, for example, ADM’s, threatened legal actions, customer complaint correspondence etc.
  25. Advocacy on members’ behalf with both state and transnational bodies such as the Commission for Aviation regulation (C.A.R.) and various European counterparts in relation to potential changes in consumer legislation affecting the trade.
  26. The regular circulation of detailed analysis of individual agency sales performance with major suppliers, together with comparative group stats in order to facilitate members maximising their margins under the terms of each commercial agreement.
  27. 24/7/365 service!
  28. In return for all of the above benefits, all Travel Centres asks in return is that members (1) pay their applicable annual fees in full no later than January 31st each year and (2) support the Travel Centres annual conference & supplier workshop by committing at least two members of staff to attend in the case of smaller agents and at least three in the case of larger ones. Failure to pay the annual membership fee in full and on time results in such membership lapsing and all retrospective rebate payments being withheld indefinitely. Smaller agents can elect to waive annual membership fees and continue to earn additional commissions on invoice but not be eligible for any retrospective rebate payments.
  29. Membership of Travel Centres means automatic acceptance of the above benefits and responsibilities.
  30. These T&C’s may be added to or amended from time to time in consultation with the Advisory Board of Travel Centres which currently comprises the following board members: Declan O’Connell, Lee Travel, Cork; Michael Geraghty, Cavan Travel, Cavan, Michael Bowe Jnr., Bowe Travel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; Carolyn Davis, Liberty Travel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal; Tom Britton, Marble City Travel, Kilkenny; Linda McNamara, Ace Travel, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick and Maria Dilworth, Blackpool Travel, Cork.

Our preferred industry partners

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