By: ADVERTORIAL - Jill Wykes
Unlike many consortia and host agencies, The Travel Agent Next Door has a unique approach to preferred suppliers, restricting their number and ensuring that their agents are focused on selling those suppliers first. We interviewed several suppliers to see how this strategy is working for them.
Here’s Nino Montagnese, managing director, Air Canada Vacations, with his responses.
The Travel Agent Next Door is very focused on its preferred suppliers and has limited the number of them, as well as making it more lucrative for its agents and agencies to support them. Have they got it right, do you agree with this strategy? How is this strategy working for you?
NM: I totally agree with this strategy. It allows the network to focus on the suppliers, ensuring they understand the product and services offered. The strategy is working well for Air Canada Vacations, we are seeing great growth.
Part of the preferred supplier strategy is enhanced training opportunities. Is this something that your company is taking advantage of? Do you see results?
NM: We are very much taking advantage of the enhanced training opportunities offered. Our team trains new consultants before they start to sell along with monthly training/webinar sessions held at their head office. The video updates by our Area Sales Manager Krista Cardona are very effective. Anytime we have a new product or promotion Krista sends a video update which TTAND pushes out to the network. A great and effective way to communicate.
Another opportunity is marketing—how is this working for you?
NM: The marketing team at TTAND is doing a great job getting our products and promotions through their internal and consumer sites. They are quick to market with any promotion we send them.
Did your company attend the conference?
NM: Yes we have been at conference the last three years.
What opportunities did the conference present for your company?
NM: The conference allowed for group discussion as well as individual. The networking was great! The agents are very engaged. The conferences allow us to really get to know the network. It’s rare to be able to get them all in one location. It allows for discussion on many fronts, Products, Services, Training and Marketing.
How would you rate this conference, as compared with others?
NM: We would rate the conference in the top five overall. Each network is unique, however the out of the box ideas that TTAND present to us each year keeps the partnership evolving.
Are there any other benefits of working with The Travel Agent Next Door that you’d care to mention?
NM: They are engaged and the head office not only works for their network but also for their suppliers. When they focus on something they are sure to get it done!