NACTA Says: Independents Can Do It Too


Independent travel agents should consider developing managed travel for businesses with a focus on the rapidly growing small business sector, according to advice from the president of the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA).

Ann van Leeuwen challenged independent consultants across Canada to add business travel services to their business portfolios if they already work in the sector or to add business travel options to their leisure services especially if they have clients that travel both for business and leisure.

Van Leeuwen was commenting on efforts by NACTA’s parent association to introduce travel agents in general to technology to aid corporate clients. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has begun hosting groups of travel consultants from across the U.S. and Canada to help them add managed travel to their business portfolio, or to expand corporate travel sales which could expand their revenue streams and increase profit. A recent meeting was ASTA’s first-ever Business Travel Exchange focused on technology that could be useful to serving the corporate client.

Said van Leeuwen: “Independent consultants should not stand back while large agencies make considerable profits serving corporate clients. NACTA’s members can learn how to manage business travel and how to convince small businesses that travel management can increase their business productivity while saving them time and money.”

This is particularly true in coordination with host agencies as their access to air contracts and hotel room nights are quite robust.

Business travel can provide independent consultants with predictable revenues and with clients who contract to come back to the agent month after month and year after year. Business travel can help take up the slack during leisure travel off-seasons and can enable consultants to specialize in the routes and services most often used by their corporate clients, said van Leeuwen.

And she added that host agencies can help independent agencies develop business clients by providing their member consultants with appropriate technology, training in responding to Requests for Proposals and with marketing to potential clients in the small business sector.

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