The Travel Agent Next Door (TTAND) celebrates its seventh birthday on Friday (March 19) while highlighting the more than $500 million in sales it has recorded over the years.
This is an accomplishment TTAND says is supported by its 508 Primary Agents, 380 Associate Agents and 45 staff supporting those agents - the "highest ratio of support staff to agents in the industry."
The company also reports that it has graduated more than 200 new agents from its in-house travel school, "ensuring we keep the travel industry growing."
“We are extremely proud of how far we have come in seven years,” said Flemming Friisdahl, founder and CEO of TTAND. "We were a start-up and everyone on our team has worked incredibly hard to bring us to where we are today, but of course we would not exist if it were not for the suppliers who believed in us, and our partners - independent travel agents - we work for them.”
The company says it has introduced a number of “firsts” among host agencies, including:
- an online system enabling the agent to charge a cancellation fee or a “planning to go” fee or any fee to accommodate agents who want to charge fees.
- 18 hours of ticketing support, six-days per week, and no ticketing fees on any issuing of the ticket.
- an online system for agents to send a trip authorization online to verify birthday, passport expiration date, credit card charges, insurance waiver and include customized Terms and Conditions including suppliers T&Cs
- its own proprietary websites where agents can easily customize 90% of the site themselves.
- its own version of a group module which can collect the customer’s credit card and personal information and still be PCI compliant.
All of the above is included at no extra cost to TTAND partners, the company says.
In 2019, TTAND launched The Agency Solution, a program for small and medium-sized travel agencies who are looking to get out from under all the paper work and back-end tasks of running an agency and concentrate on selling travel.
“This past year has of course been a year like none of us has ever seen in our industry,” said Friisdahl. “We have concentrated on supporting our agents through this period and have had a number of agents join TTAND this past year. We will be ready when the rebound comes—and there are already strong signals that it is coming.”
The Travel Agent Next Door has also held many initiatives to keep its agents engaged and to give back, in particular over the past year.
The company’s charity of choice is Pencils for Kids and over the past seven years, TTAND and its partners have raised $79,571 for the charity.
This past holiday season, TTAND and its partners also sponsored 48 travel agent partners and their families who were struggling financially due to the pandemic.
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