Travel Advisers Don’t Want SuppliersFollowing Up With Their Clients (90% Say)
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 13 – Nine in 10 travel advisers don’t want suppliers contacting their clients after a stay or trip to offer discounts for booking future travel directly with the suppliers (bypassing the advisers).
And, if suppliers make those “comeback” contacts, the advisers believe they should be credited automatically for those future bookings (93.3%) and receive full commission as a result (87.8%)
Those are the findings from a major survey conducted by the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA) this month that reached more than 5,000 U.S. and Canadian agents.
Here’s a summary of the findings:
Q. How do you feel about suppliers contacting your clients after their stays/trips to encourage them to book future stays/trips directly with the suppliers?
- I have no problem with suppliers following up with my clients this way. 7.4%
- I would strongly prefer that suppliers not contact my clients this way. 90.3%
- I don’t feel strongly one way or the other. 1.9%
- (No response to the question – 0.4%)
Q. How do you feel about being credited for future bookings solicited by suppliers from your clients after their stays/trips?
- I’d prefer to be credited automatically for those bookings as the agent of record for my clients’ current stays/trips. 93.3%
- I’d have no problem submitting requests or filling out forms to claim credit for those bookings. 5.8%
- I don’t feel strongly one way or the other. 0.9%
Q. How do you feel about receiving commission for those future bookings?
- I’d prefer full commission on those bookings, since they involve my clients. 87.8%
- I’d accept partial commission on those bookings, since the suppliers made the sales. 11.0%
- I don’t feel strongly one way or the other. 1.2%
“As travel advisers, we believe strongly that our clients belong to us,” said Lisa Sheldon, DWHSA’s president and the owner of I Do Island Weddings in Janesville, Wis. “We book our clients as guests with suppliers – we’re not sharing those clients. And, as the survey results show, we don’t need the help of suppliers to follow up with our own clients.”
Sheldon noted that the surveyed agents want credit and commission when suppliers decide to approach their clients about future stays/trips. “We’ve done the hard work and shouldered the expense of turning consumers into clients,” she said. “It’s unfair – and unethical – for suppliers to take our clients’ information, talk them into future bookings at rates we can’t always match as agents, and reap the profit from those sales.
“DWHSA members routinely tell us they appreciate the approach of the major cruise lines,” said John Hawks, DWHSA’s administrator. “If our clients book future voyages onboard the ship, many cruise lines credit the agent of record automatically and pay commission on those bookings – no forms, no hoops to jump through, just a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship.
DWHSA will share the results of this survey with agent groups and suppliers, and the full survey results – including hundreds of individual comments submitted by agents who took the survey – have been posted at dwhsa.com/suppliercomebackprograms
(Survey conducted Nov. 8-11 2019 – 5,520 U.S. and Canadian agents who belong to DWHSA, who’ve participated in past DWHSA classes and events, or who’ve had contact with DWHSA in other ways – 95% confidence level, 5% margin of error)
Formed in 2013, the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA) is the world’s largest network of romance travel professionals, with more than 950 agents in the United States, Canada, and other countries engaged in planning and selling destination weddings, honeymoons, and romantic getaways. More information is available at JoinDWHSA.com.