06 DEC 2017: If there's one thing that seems to be topping the New Year's Resolution list for travel agents in 2018, it's charging fees. But the models they plan to use are as varied as their business models - from a simple deposit to be applied to the booking, all the way up to a membership club modelled after Costco and Amazon.  

It is the latter that is the most interesting. It comes from Stephen Scott, owner of travelhub365 who two years ago quit his job as a Royal Caribbean strategic accounts manager to become a travel agent. Like many new agents, he began charging fees only for airline tickets. But by 2017, he knew that was not enough - and he came up with an idea he has been testing for the past two months, and will roll out in full force in 2018.

"Fees are definitely critical to our business; we learned the hard way that we need them to do the best for our customers," Scott says. "You need to ensure that you place value on your time and your employees' time, and recoup the cost of the advertising that you spent to get that customer in the first place. Our experience and our time are incredibly valuable and if we don't put a cost to that upfront, we are setting ourselves up for failure."

 Read it all in Travel Market Report

 

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