Travel agents are paid commissions by the hotels, airlines
and bus companies and are not added to your fees. A good travel agent can
research the best prices for a quality trip and is knowledgeable in assisting
you with your plans for an effective itinerary for your group. An agent that
books group tours can usually save you money by making large room blocks at
hotels as well as seating blocks with the airlines. With their high volume
guarantees, they can barter for the best rates for the consumer.
There are some things you should know about the industry that will help
you to be more knowledgeable about travel. You will sometimes see or hear of
airlines selling seats a drastically low rates. Bare in mind that there are
only a few seats on the plane that can sell at that price. The airlines will
usually quote a group rate that will be somewhere between the lowest advertised rate and the regular coach rate. Remember that the airlines have
to average the cost for the seats on the plane in order to make it cost effective for them.
When contacting hotels, they will quote you a "rack" rate, or the same
rate for all individual inquiries. Travel agents are able to negotiate a special group rate by making large room blocks and deposits up front. One
variable that you must remember when booking your group, in order for you to
insure these discount prices, your will have to make deposits and guarantees. When you have an individual that must cancel, they will probably forfeit
their initial deposit.
When you are spending money on a special trip, you will want to set
aside some time for your team to have fun. This is where the experienced travel agent can offer you a variety of activities to choose from that will
fit into your itinerary and budget.
It is important to remember when you are sending out a bid to insure the consistency of the trip content and price comparisons. You should
outline for the agencies the criteria which they should base their prices.