FLIGHT Centre last month unveiled an aggressive ramp-up of its The Travel Junction wholesale operation, including a new technology platform designed to improve flexibility for travel agent partners. One of the benefits of the revamp for agents sees deposits refunded and booking amendments made without fee if suppliers don’t charge, as well as the provision of COVID credits for when agents and their clients need them.
While Flight Centre’s predecessor brand Infinity Holidays has now been retired, the move indicates a clear intention to distribute products on behalf of its suppliers right across the industry — not just to its in-house retail operations.
The move is being viewed by some industry observers as opportune, given the fierce reaction to new policies being introduced by Helloworld’s Viva Holidays, Sunlover, Asia Escapes and other wholesale brands, which effective this month are reverting to pre-COVID conditions. Helloworld agencies were livid when the move was made last month to retain deposits, with the company’s head office emailing resellers to chastise “a small number of agents” who they claim had been making fake bookings for the future to take advantage of the deposit transfer.
Meanwhile, the pandemic-led pivot to domestic has also providing opportunities for newcomers like Holidays of Australia, as well as industry stalwart Simon Bernardi’s Australia and Beyond Holidays business — not to mention a host of other niche domestic players.