Travel Agents

Bruce Poon Tip: “Australia is the only market with two dominant players”

Australia is one of the only travel markets in the world where two players have a complete monopoly over the industry, according to G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, the Canadian said one of the largest problems with the Australian travel market is the dominance of two retailers.

For Poon Tip, the issue with this is agents are more likely to sell products based on deals, rather than an interest in customer experience.

“I think that agents just have to know about the options and the main thing is agents need to focus on customer experience.

“Thinking about what’s best for the customer that is not commonly done here in Australia.”

When asked why this is the case, Poon Tip pinned the problem down to market dominance.

“In Australia, you have one of the only markets in the world that has two dominant retailers that make decisions based on contracts.

“They are not doing what’s in the best interest to the customer because they’re just signed big commercial deals.”

He added: “There is no other market in the world that has that.”

For Poon Tip, the result of this market dominance is a dismissal of customer needs and wants, and a reliance on “commercial deals”.

“So, operators are forced to negotiate contracts based on commercial as opposed to making decisions on what’s best for the customer.”

“I think that agents should know everything that’s out there and always do what’s best for the customer, not necessarily go for what’s being put in front of them.”

Looking to the future, Poon Tip said agents need to begin aligning themselves more with their customers and taking on more of a consultant role, rather than just a travel salesperson.

“That’s why the future is travel professionals.

“We’ve moved beyond the travel agent which was something of the past when people used to sell 90 per cent airfares and 10 per cent land.

“Now, if you want to survive in the market you have to be a professional, offering professional service, more of a travel advisor,” he added.

To do so, agents need become more educated about offering across the market, not simply selling products for reward’s sake.

“In order to take on that role, you have to be more educated in the options.

“You have to make decisions not on what’s the best sale price or the best kickback promotion you have, it’s what’s best for the customer, otherwise the customer will go get it themselves,” he said.

 

 

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • Bruce

    2 players have a “complete monopoly”?? That would make it a duopoly not a monopoly. Even if corrected to say that “they have a complete duopoly” it means there is not a single other travel agent that exists. Yes 2 dominant players but still plenty of others in the market as well.

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