“Webjet is certainly a threat to agents”: TC boss Fred van Eijk

“Webjet is certainly a threat to agents”: TC boss Fred van Eijk

Yesterday, Webjet MD John Guscic said in the company’s annual review the OTA was the “#1 in Australia and New Zealand”.

Adding to that, Guscic said the OTA had carved itself out as a “global leader in the B2B space”.

So what does the local industry think of the claims?

Speaking to Travel WeeklyManaging Director of Travel Counsellors Australia Fred van Eijk said he understands why traditional travel agents would be concerned by the news.

In response to the article, van Eijk said, “It certainly is a threat to traditional travel agents”

Specifically, agents “who remain to be transactional and fail to bring the extra value to their customers.”

Although, van Eijk added, “For Travel Counsellors this is not of any concern.”

“We bring care, impartial advice and a personal approach to the table as we deal within a relationship with our customers,” he added.

In his address, Guscic said, “Flight bookings [had grown] more than six times the underlying market during the year”.

He pinned this down to “our ongoing efforts to better understand our consumers and offer them the greatest convenience and choice when booking their travel needs.”

Van Eijk agrees with Guscic about the importance of consumer needs and the imperative of understanding them.

“The recent failure of Air Berlin is a relevant example where we went the extra mile for our customers with our 24/7 duty office and personal care for our customers,” van Eijk said.

He added that often the internet can be difficult for consumers and companies need to be mindful of this.

“The bigger OTAs want to be, the stronger we want to be in just being humans instead of a machine,” van Eijk said.

“The customer more and more appreciates that as we see in our growth,” he added.

Speaking of consumer care, van Eijk recently promised he’d be available for a chinwag whenever a customer needs to chat, going so far as offering up his mobile and email to contact him on.

At the time, he commented “Our business is built on one-to-one relationships and we pride ourselves on understanding what is important to our Travel Counsellors.

“I keep my ‘finger on the pulse’ and have a very real understanding of what it takes to run your own business. I invite you to give me a call if you are interested to know more about joining the world’s best-loved travel company”.

Contact Fred today:

Telephone:  (03) 9034 7088

Email:  talktofred@travelcounsellors.com.au

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