Global Travel Group has received more membership enquiries from experienced travel agents as its brand awareness grows.
The consortia has traditionally been known to include new, small, sometimes one-person, agencies but managing director Andy Stark told Travel Daily it is also seeing more interest from agents that have been set up for some time.
“This is really encouraging for me as we’ve built up the awareness in the last few years and now organically are creating that buzz and business,” he said. “We’ve always been identified with supporting new agents that have not worked in the travel industry before but interest from experienced travel agents is picking up.”
Growing awareness and image has been a focus for Stark and his team since he became managing director of the group in November 2012.
At its conference in Chester this week Stark revealed the group has seen sales go up 11% year-on-year with average commission up from 8% to 11% for its 372 members.
Technology and IT has also been a key focus, with Global spending close to GBP500,000 on relocating its system which Stark now explains as “future proof”.
Last week its intranet Horizon launched, developed in-house to provide more content, support and advice for its members, with plans for an online store and further training opportunities to come this year. More one-day workshops are also in the pipeline with themes and suppliers.
“This year will involve doing more of what we already do; supporting agents, updating our internal products and creating direct contracts with suppliers,” said Stark. “We’ll continue to strengthen our commercial relations and will grow the marketing team.”
With its conference using the strapline ‘Recipe to Success’, what does Stark think are the ingredients to Global’s own achievements?
“Our efforts behind the conference bring this altogether really,” he said. “It’s a fun environment but is structured with the right people so they can receive the right information and take what they want from it. We bring like-minded people together and it’s all come together as we planned and done what we wanted.”