There’s a new home-based travel company coming to a neighbourhood near you, with today’s launch of The Travel Agent Next Door. The new cross-Canada venture is helmed by company founder, Flemming Friisdahl, along with industry veterans Penny Martin and Nancy Aube taking executive roles.
And in launching its operations, officials of The Travel Agent Next Door made it abundantly clear that they intend to focus on fully supporting their agents — from helping them set up their own business, to providing sales and marketing tools, to lucrative commission formulas.
Friisdahl observed, “We will offer programs that are unlike any other home-based group. We have a senior executive team with years of experience in the industry, including working closely with home-based agents. We understand this growing sector of the market.”
With 20 years in sales and marketing roles with tour operators, wholesalers and consolidators, Friisdahl points out, “I worked with agents throughout my career, supporting them and advising them on what they needed to grow sales. I also understand the supplier side of the business very well. I believe that gives me a unique perspective in the home based business, and that will benefit our agents. They can focus on selling and we will provide all the tools they need.”
Some of the programs offered include accounting services to set up a home business, health and dental benefit options, the ability to earn up to 100% of commission, profit sharing, real time reporting and extensive marketing support, including customized web sites.
Says Friisdahl, “Our agents will be the most highly incentivized sales force out there due to our commission formulas and reporting capability. We are confident agents will be impressed with what we have to offer them, and that translates into support for our preferred and approved suppliers.”
Looking at the big picture, Friisdahl points out that home-based agents are a growing trend in Canada, with recent estimates indicating that 23% of all agents in here are now home based, which is roughly 5,000. With reports that home based agents represent over 50% of the retail industry in the US and the U.K., the number in Canada is likely to double in the next five years.
As for The Travel Agent Next Door’s branding, it has been designed to resonate with consumers, travel agents and the travel industry.
Friisdahl observes, “The concept of local was instrumental in the selection of our brand. We conducted consumer research and determined consumers have a desire to deal with somebody local — someone they can depend on and who will be accountable.”
The Travel Agent Next Door has signed an affiliation agreement with both TRAVELSAVERS and The Affluent Traveler Collection, giving its agents access to marketing tools, booking engines, an industry leading cruise program, a corporate program and more.
The company has its head office in downtown Toronto and a branch office in Vancouver, and has ACTA, TICO, CLIA and IATA designations.
For more, go to http://www.thetravelagentnextdoor.ca or call (416) 367-TAND (8263).