Interview By: Andy Ogg – Editor for Travel Professional NEWS
Interviewing: Richard Launder, President, The Travel Corporation (TTC)
Thank you for taking the time today and we really appreciate your willingness to interact with our great community of Travel Professionals!
How long has The Travel Corporation been operating? How did you all get your start? Can you share some more information about your leadership team?
TTC brands have been selling/operating between 30 and 70 years. We are a fourth-generation family business and the whole family is proactively engaged in the organization. Their passion for travel, and the passion of the whole TTC team, drives all of us each and every day.
The Travel Corporation (TTC) seems to have something to offer to all traveler types and generations. Can you give us some brief information on each brand and what the target traveler for that brand might be?
TTC’s diverse range of brands and trip styles offers a lifetime of options for every traveler.
Our brands cover the luxury quadrant with guided vacation brands Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, boutique river cruising with Uniworld, and custom safaris with African Travel.
Millennial/youth travelers have Conitki covering 18-35 year old travelers, and U By Uniworld, the first-ever river cruise line dedicated to a younger demographic, 21-45 year old travelers.
Our other brands cover the spanning middle market from young professionals, baby boomers, families, etc. where they choose authentic and personal guided vacations with Trafalgar, CostSaver, and a selection of guided and independent choices with Brendan Vacations.
There is however, a lot of crossover. We know that most travelers have what we call a “10 year travel wallet” where they travel fairly consistently year over year across a variety of different styles. We see this in our guided vacations brands where travelers “climb the ladder” where their brand of choice evolves/adjusts as they go through different stages of life: Contiki –> CostSaver –> Trafalgar/Brendan –> Insight Vacations –> Luxury Gold
Would you mind sharing some insights on your most popular brands that Travel Professionals have the best success with?
Trafalgar, Uniworld, Insight Vacations, Brendan Vacations and African Travel Inc. are 90% sold by our travel agent partners. Within our family of brands, Contiki is the exception here with about 30% of sales going through travel agents. However, the millennial travel market offers a lot of opportunity and we would love for more travel agents to sell Contiki.
Can you share some of the benefits that a Travel Professional could receive when partnering with The Travel Corporation and it’s brands?
Our corporate policy is “driven by service” — three simple words, but they define our whole organization. Our commitment to our travel agent partners is a driving force in our day-to-day professional lives.
For the travel agents, this means sales training and support from an extensive team of dedicated sales managers; happy guests, reinforced by our third-party reviews from Feefo; and tier one commercial terms that include commissions, overrides and promotions.
Our brands also offer FAM trips, travel agent discounts, cross-selling opportunities, and tools like our 5% past guest discount applicable across all brands.
Our brands also welcome a lot of past guests, about 35% – 40% across the business, which means ongoing opportunity for agents who can count on repeat business.
If a Travel Professional is interested, do you offer any training or resources of education for them to learn more about your brands?
Yes, there are many training opportunities from brand-level trainings with sales managers, webinars, and our TTC Agent Academy featuring online training modules. Other resources from the brands such as brochures and travel agent dedicated websites are also excellent tools and resources for agents.
What advice do you offer to a Travel Professional looking to grow their business with one or even all of your brands?
Be committed. If you try and be all things to all people, you will never be great. Find a specialty and shine, but also understand there is crossover and opportunity to cross-sell.
Does The Travel Corporation offer a standard commission for Travel Professional for all of the brands?
There is not an overall TTC commission rate as it varies by product category, the market and competitive set, and a multitude of other factors. Commissions from the brands are very competitive, ranging from $500 – $2000 per transaction.
For our readers, what is the best way to get set up with TTC and it’s brands?
Register for our TTC Agent Academy (ttc.com/agentacademy). Subscribe to ttc.com and ttcupdate.com which features information, resources and offers across all of our brands. Sign up for each brand’s newsletters and register for their agent websites.
Before we stop bugging you, do you have any additional comments or information you can’t leave without sharing?
You already have TTC clients. We often hear from many travel agents that they don’t have clients interested in these types of trips, but it is important to understand there is crossover. Today, they might be blue water cruisers, but rarely do travelers stick to one type of travel style only. They change it up, and most alternate between land and cruise, and many fall in love with guided vacations and river cruising and come back again and again.
Thank you so much for the time today, as well as the very valuable information that you have shared, we are excited to see what’s next for The Travel Corporation and look forward to speaking with you again soon!