Travel suppliers undercutting agents: Is it still an issue?

Terrilyn Kunopaski, Canadian Traveller

With the genesis of OTAs and direct B2C opportunities, there was a time when travel suppliers were keen on working around the travel agent channel. But is the profession still as challenged in these relationships as it once was?

FOLLOW ANY SOCIAL MEDIA GROUP where travel advisors connect to communicate and support one another and it doesn’t take long to come across complaints about one supplier or another appealing for their clients’ business direct. It may be a tour operator, more often a hotelier – whether offering a credit that can’t be redeemed if the client were to use a travel agent or a rate that retailers simply can’t match.

But at the same time, as co-president of Ensemble Travel Group Lindsay Pearlman points out, it’s hard to come by a direct-to-consumer supplier campaigns that don’t suggest “contact your travel advisor” as part of the call to action. So, what gives? Is the issue of undercutting travel agents actually still an issue?