‘There is a big demand from clients for service and there are less people who can give them that service. Agents need to exploit this situation, change their business model and charge a fair fee to help people through the processes.
‘With the recent commission cuts by airlines, those who just look at volume are unlikely to survive.’
Davies says agents who concentrate on clients who are prepared to pay for the advice, assistance and expertise they provide will in turn make more money with less human resources in their businesses.
‘Of course you need staff, but you’re going to have to pay them more as well – especially those who have experienced other industries in the past two years. So a key is to cut back on processing volume that adds little return to your business.
‘Clients want someone who will be on the end of the phone when they need them, someone who can come up with the perfect itinerary and make it a seamless, stress free experience. They need to be prepared to pay for that and travel advisors would be foolish to do it for free.’
He says that biggest danger to those in the reave sector now is to ‘drift back’ to the old and out dated model.
‘The key is to make every piece of business pay. Think like a consultant, a service provider rather than an agent to suppliers.’