Managing Director Christian Hunter helped ensure Travellers Choice retains a strong bond with fellow WIN Global Travel Network member Advantage Travel Partnership (ATP) by attending the UK network’s annual conference in Spain in May.
Christian says the ATP conference – held this year in Cadiz, a port city in the Andalucía region of southwestern Spain – once again attracted travel agents from across Britain, with panels and experts addressing topics such as digital disruption and what appears to be revitalised support for traditional travel retailers.
“One of this year’s keynote speakers, BBC Scotland Editor Sarah Smith, also addressed consumers' demands for ever more immediate and flexible product delivery,” he says. “For me it only highlighted just how pioneering our own partnership with online travel agent TripADeal has been.”
Christian says the most valuable benefit from attending the ATP conference remains the opportunity the event offers to engage with UK travel industry leaders and share insights into common challenges facing independent agents.
"I doubt there would be two independent agency groups anywhere in world more closely aligned structurally and operationally than Travellers Choice and ATP. The way we interact with our members and the support services we offer are closely aligned, and that means we are continually learning from one another.
"One of the trends they are witnessing now in the UK, for instance, is a resurgence in the use of travel agents. Despite an ongoing decline in the popularity of the traditional British high street, travel agencies in the UK are currently thriving. Partly it's in response to uncertainty generated by the collapse of non-bonded travel companies, but also the fact that consumers are reawakening to the expertise and depth of products agents can tap into.
"I think from a Travellers Choice perspective it validates our investment in training, education and mentor programs, as well as our decision to guarantee that 100% of our members are ATAS accredited."