And in this corner | TravelResearchOnline

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And in this corner

Everywhere you look there are battles being fought—Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Lybia, and Wisconsin to name a few. But one battle hit a little closer to home last week when Insight Vacations threw off their gloves and came out swinging against Collette Vacations with an email broadcast to all of their travel agent partners.

InsightThis was a hot topic in the TRO Community last week and no one seems to know what happened to cause such a reaction, but there was no doubt that Insight had had enough. In addition to pointing out discrepancies between the products, Insight laid out in no uncertain terms how working with Insight is a better solution for agents than working with Collette Vacations. Insight alleged that Collette:

  • Outwardly solicits clients to book direct and bypass the agent
  • Will outwardly market groups to compete with an agent directly
  • Will never mention the travel agent in any direct communications with the client
  • Never informs agents when they are contacting the agent’s customers
  • Does not share feedback from clients on tours with agents

Some of the comments in the TRO Community included:

  • KUDOS to Insight for calling them out, more vendors should too
  • I have never sold Collette and never intended to based on what I’ve heard here over the years
  • Go Insight!!!

For years, agents have been grumbling about Collette “poaching” clients, particularly groups; but this is the first time a supplier has voiced a concern and in a public manner.  Usually suppliers play a game of follow the leader or they just sit back and observe.

I sent emails to both Collette and Insight to see if I could get their side of the story, but have yet to receive a response. If they do respond, I will be sure to update this article.

And to add an ironic twist to this battle, TravelAge West is sponsoring a webinar on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 on Niche sales opportunities and the newest ultimate touring alternatives. Two of the featured players will be none other than Collette Vacations’ Frank Marini and Insight Vacations’ Marc Kazlauskas.  I am unsure if the panelists will be taking questions, but if you are interested, you can register here.

But for now, what do you think? Have you worked with Insight Vacations? Have you worked with Collette Vacations? What have been your experiences? Please leave a comment!

  3 thoughts on “And in this corner

  1. Susan says:

    I’ve worked with Insight and continue to welcome the opportunity to do so – in general I love all of the TravCorp brands (Insight, Brendan, Trafalgar, Uniworld).

    I’ve never booked Collette, never had a client request them, never even had a BDM bother to send me an email, give me a call, or take the time out of their schedule to address any TA groups in our area.

    Because I’ve never worked with them I have not personally experienced their “poaching” practices, and I’m not sure I want to take that chance either.

  2. Richard Earls says:

    Dan:

    Unfortunately we did not receive your entire message. TRO will happilly provide you with a Point to Point column to address these issues directly. Please contact me at rearls@travelresearchonline.com.

    Richard

  3. Dan Sullivan says:

    Hi everyone,
    Dan Sullivan here, President and CEO of Collette Vacations. For any agents who have questions for Collette, I am happy to discuss every point that was mentioned since we were misrepresented.

    We’ve been in business since 1918 and the travel agent community has been such a huge part of what has kept us strong in the industry for more than 91 years.

    Feel free to give me a call if you want to discuss any part of the article above.

    My direct line: 401-642-4500

    Thanks,
    Dan

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