A new partnership program from the Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) will give the wider Australian travel agency sector access to its range of products.
The program, announced today, will give external travel agents and chains the opportunity to secure products and deals by tapping into FLT’s “global negotiating strength” via an unbranded buying group.
It will complement the Escape Travel franchise concept, according to FLT Australia general manager Melanie Waters-Ryan.
“As a company. we are strong believers in the agency model and we are keen to work more closely with agents for mutual benefit,” she said.
“We are already doing this via the Escape Travel franchise offering, but we are also keen to build on this by giving agents more options when it comes to sourcing and buying product.”
Under the new offering, non-FLT agents will be able to benefit from the company’s buying power in order to access products and rates previously not available to them, Waters-Ryan continued.
She expected it to appeal to other chains, unaligned agents and agents already linked to other networks but who might be reconsidering their options.
The announcement follows the launch of FLT’s franchise offer two years ago which enabled external agents to become part of the nationwide Escape Travel network.
To oversee the growing franchise network and to develop closer ties with agents, FLT has recruited former Helloworld and Traveland executive Danny Roche who will work closely with Sue Rennick, the general manager of the brand’s franchise business.
“Danny has vast experience and is well known and well respected within the industry,” Waters-Ryan said.
“In his new role, he will help develop long-term relationships with agents who are interested in either becoming part of the Escape Travel network or interested in gaining access to our product ranges via the partnership program.”