Travellers Choice is today celebrating a new milestone in its ground-breaking arrangement with online travel agent TripADeal after Queensland-based Ucango Travel & Cruise Centre became the group’s first member to surpass one million dollars’ worth of TripADeal bookings in a calendar year.
Ucango Travel & Cruise Centre owner Dave Hulsman says that while it is satisfying to pass the million dollar mark for 2018, the true value of the TripADeal relationship has been its ability to drive new customers through the agency’s door.
“More than 90% of our TripADeal customers had opted in to our marketing database, but they had never actually booked with our agency,” says Hulsman. “Travellers Choice’s preferred arrangement with TripADeal has allowed us to convert those prospects into confirmed bookings.
“We’ve found that many of them had considered purchasing travel online, but they were either unsure about the packages they saw on offer or were hesitant about dealing with an online company and wanted the assurance of dealing with a well-established bricks and mortar agency.
“Like other Travellers Choice members, we have even had customers referred to us by TripADeal once it became clear that they were more comfortable completing their booking through a local travel agency.”
Based in Byron Bay, on the New South Wales north coast, TripADeal creates competitively priced, bucket-list travel packages, which it promotes heavily through national digital and print channels. Under Travellers Choice’s ground-breaking partnership with the online company, its members serve as fulfilment partners and receive exclusive access to a range of unique travel packages.
Hulsman says the fact that TripADeal offers a wide variety of products has helped attract a broad range of new customers – with, for instance, shorter-duration Asian and Maldives packages resonating with younger clients, while touring and cruising deals appeal to a more experienced market.
“What we have also noticed is that because the packages are designed for a more price sensitive market, they have not enticed existing customers to abandon more high-end products. What we have seen, however, is the odd customer who now flips in an additional TripADeal package in-between their luxury trip.”
Hulsman says ultimately the preferred relationship with TripADeal has allowed Ucango Travel & Cruise Centre to expand its service offering.
“We can now confidently offer our customers a full suite of products and services – from well-priced packages that appeal to those on a tighter budget right through to full service, high-end products.”