Start with travel advisors who are desperate for cash flow. Add suppliers who need a healthy distribution channel to calm wary travelers. Muddy the waters with commission recalls of $50,000 or more. And suddenly, the industry is abuzz with talk about paying travel agencies their commissions earlier in the cycle.
This being 2020, it’s no surprise that just as some applaud the idea, others call it a huge mistake. But in the space between, suppliers and advisors are Zooming about ways to make their payment policies fit the new reality.
“We’ve never had a program that pays advance commissions to travel advisors until now,” says Stephanie Mirando at Collette, which last week guaranteed $100 to $200 in commission on every reservation booked in 2021 for travel starting after May 1. Like a fee for service, advisors can keep it even if the trip is canceled. Read the rest of this entry »
As if Covid cases, consistently changing rules of entry, and nervous customers weren’t enough to deal with… last week, travel advisors were hit by another insidious disease: scammers at the resorts.
“I got lucky; I had a guardian angel looking out for me,” says travel advisor Loulu Lima, who last week discovered, just in time, that her booking of 22 adults and kids, for a total of 27 room nights, at the Hard Rock Punta Cana for a man named Darling Koch (you can’t make this stuff up) was just one big con.
Cathy Sanchez was not so lucky. Her scammer, who called himself Robert Nunez, booked five rooms at Hard Rock earlier this month — and even sent her a video of himself enjoying his vacation. Then he disputed the credit card charge, claiming it was unauthorized.
While they are seasoned travel advisors with a careful process for detecting scammers, both Lima and Sanchez were fooled Read the rest of this entry »
Ditch the fam trips? Suggest they quarantine before they go? Travel advisors must find their individual moral truths about travel. As many head to Mexico this month, they are asking the tough questions — and preparing for some shaming they likely will face.
For a Texan, some might say, Chad Shields has been following a moderate path these past few months. The owner of Engage Vacations has been adhering to the required protocols regarding social distancing and wearing masks on his three trips to Mexico — and encouraging his clients to do the same. Read the rest of this entry »