ADVERTORIAL: THE TRAVEL AGENT NEXT DOOR
The new deferred payment program (ZIP) is now available through The Travel Agent Next Door and suppliers welcome it.
Below are some comments from Dana Gain, senior director, sales, groups & partnerships, ACV; Sandra Gardiner, director of national accounts, Canada, AmaWaterways; and Martha Tavio, sales director, Gateways International.
TTAND: What was your reaction to TTAND’s ZIP program?
Gardiner: I was delighted to learn that TTAND would be launching the new ZIP program that will encourage travellers to book knowing they are able to purchase their dream holiday and pay over up to twelve months-- interest free.
Tavio: Occasionally, passengers are unaware of the actual costs to obtain a quality journey, and they sadly need to re-evaluate their plans or postpone their journey. If presented with an opportunity to help turn a passengers’ travel dreams into reality, we would be very happy to work with TTAND to offer it.
Gain: It’s always exciting to see an innovative company like TTAND put forward yet another new, fresh idea. We’re just beginning to see the trend in Canada towards offering payment options beyond the high-interest credit card option.
TTAND: How will this program benefit your business?
Gain: It will essentially make vacation more affordable to Canadians. Perhaps that customer will go twice a year instead of once, or select more exotic destinations or choose a 5-star instead of a 4-star. And there will be others who perhaps could not afford to go on vacation at all, and now they can.
Gardiner: Guests can now make equal payments for their vacation and not have to put out that lump payment at one given time. It will encourage guests to book luxury trips that they thought they previously could not afford.
TTAND: Would you consider paying for the program to encourage upgrades?
Gardiner: I have already committed to paying the small fee in order to encourage guests to book their dream vacation with AmaWaterways.
Gain: We would encourage any vehicle that allowed us to bring the best possible vacation experience to the customer.
TTAND: This program offers a fixed cost. Thoughts?
Gain: The fixed cost model is ideal because the customer always knows how much they’re going to pay, unlike an interest rate.
Tavio: I think the cost can vary, based on the number of passengers on the same file that are requiring the use of the program. Assuming these details can be communicated in a clear manner to the passenger through their travel agent, we would be interested in exploring this with TTAND.
TTAND: Have you seen success with this type of program in the past?
Tavio: Absolutely. Sears Travel had immense success with a similar program.
Gardiner: I remember a program similar to this with Sears Travel that was very successful. I am pleased that Flemming and TTAND have adapted this new Zip program to make travel easier for clients who choose to book with TTAND and AmaWaterways.
Gain: Large travel companies in South America such as Argentina and Brazil have been doing it very successfully for many years.
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