IN a time of upheaval, disappointed customers and overworked agents, The Travel Corporation has been busy expanding its domestic range to allow customers to travel sooner and bring sellers a step closer to their coveted commission.
The company is expanding its range of guided holidays in Australia available across the portfolio of brands, including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold and Contiki.
This allows travellers who may have booked an overseas adventure before COVID-19 hit, the chance to instead redeem existing Future Travel Credits on the new range.
The AAT Kings Group will manage the ground handling services for its sister companies in Australia and New Zealand, with Contiki also expanding its trip choices with the additional option of rail in some areas.
Newly promoted AAT Kings Group CEO Matthew Cameron-Smith explained the move sets agents up to generate new revenue sooner.
“What it means is people who are sitting on a credit can actually consume that now, give it to somebody else, or share it with other people, and what that means for agents is it’s clean off their books, that file is closed,” he said.
“It means all the commission settlements are done but also it means that when borders reopen internationally, they can get new revenue.”
Cameron-Smith said the content would be ready to go when state borders open and be followed by New Zealand product, after a trans-Tasman bubble is established and flights resume.
Despite waiting for borders to reopen, the trips will not need travellers to cross borders.
They will offer itineraries around six or seven days in length and will each operate intrastate.
Under the expanded offering, Trafalgar will introduce six new trips to its Australian collection and Insight will launch five, with Luxury Gold to form part of the Insight Vacation program, and work to leverage its inbound program.
The experiences on offer will be aligned to each brand, delving into food, wine, indigenous culture, and sustainability.
“These trips are genuinely what Australians want to do in Australia,” Cameron-Smith said.
They will also be able to be booked for private group travel across all brands — an area the company has already seen strong demand for.
The tours will have a group size of around 22, with the company reducing its load factor and incorporating social distancing.
The adjustment comes as The Travel Corporation commits to enhanced COVID-19 protocols and hygiene standards for all its guided holidays once domestic and international travel resumes.
Across its operations, group sizes will be adapted based on government distancing requirements and hotels and restaurants have been vetted to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines required in each jurisdiction.
The company has also elevated hygiene protocols and sanitary practices, with staff to be trained in new health procedures and coaches to be cleaned daily.