Why do travelers who book directly with travel operators often get penalized? The web allows us to buy travel from anywhere in the world but when dealing directly with operators do we really get the cost price or do we pay the retail price that is also the same one that we would pay at high-street travel agencies? Often the prices on the websites of the operators are the same as those that you would see in their brochures – and they include various levels of commission from 10% to over 25% payable to inbound tour operators, wholesalers or retailers. These should not be chargeable to buyers at or from the source, as they are not relevant, except for increased profits. If the operator is willing to sell to a middleman, the price has been set to allow for a profit but why impose a penalty on a direct booker?
It is understandable that a two-tier pricing structure is not acceptable to the operators or the retailers as it can undermine the advertising and marketing efforts of the seller and high-street operators also have higher overheads. A new way has been found that enables travelers to get travel at prices net of these commissions and although only about a year in operation, there is a fair selections of travel choices covering over 70 countries available to consumers who want to deal directly with travel operators.
Depending on the travel offer, a voucher may be purchased at this site for each traveler enabling further savings. All vouchers have a 100% refund guarantee and if you are not happy with your travel purchase, you can still recover the cost of the voucher after completion of your travel. You can also get the vouchers at no cost if you are a member on this online travel club.
In order to be listed on this site the travel provider has to offer a voucher that can be used towards their travel products and packages. The voucher must be equivalent to, or more than, the commissions that they would pay to a seller of their products and this saving is passed on to travelers who are prepared to handle their own arrangements directly with the provider, the site retaining a small percentage from each voucher. No other fees are charged to the travel suppliers so the only time they will incur a cost is when they get a sale and that is built in to their retail price anyway.
You cannot buy travel products, vacations, packages or even make reservations or bookings on this site but you do get to select from some popular travel activities and destinations, all with savings. One particular deal stands out, that is if you want to use a voucher towards a charter boat in the Greek Islands – buy a 1,500euro (around $2,000usd) voucher for $100usd or another one towards a 7day river cruise in Thailand. In many countries you can find escorted tours offering a 10% or more savings voucher per person, as long as you handle your own reservations directly with the supplier.
The site recommends that once you have found a travel selection with a voucher attached that you contact the provider to satisfy yourself of their advertised services, contact them from the information supplied on the voucher, make your reservation and then buy as many vouchers as you need. You can purchase vouchers as gift certificates in which case prior contact may not be necessary but the choice is yours.
This is an original concept for travel purchases but this service has a natural fit into the way we all do business on the web which is for direct prices for direct purchasers but at the same time allowing for the traditional way of buying from retail operators. Many retail travel agents are also tour operators who offer their own tour products which are available to other retailers and thus have built-in commission elements but retailers with knowledge, experience and expertise of destinations and activities and who want to reach out to a larger market of travelers may also use the service.