President's Podium: Optimize your earnings

Welcome to September. To my Jewish friends and colleagues celebrating Rosh Hashanah I'd like to say "shana tovah u'metukah", Hebrew for "a good and sweet new year". This month also represents the end of summer, back to school, and most importantly the return of the busy selling season!

As you set your goals and begin to dig in for a successful fall and winter booking period lets take a moment to review the ways an agency can optimize their commission earnings.

First and foremost, know who your preferreds are. Understand what it is they can offer and do your best to become experts in their products. The most lucrative commissions and reliable support tend to be through your valued preferred partners. Your chains and consortia have worked hard on these agreements. Let them work in your favour.

Second, when searching through the booking engines make sure you take advantage of the sorting tools that are available. Keep in mind the best commission for the agent is not necessarily at the top of the search results. For example, when using Softvoyage to run your searches sort on "total price", you will find booking opportunities that may be much more rewarding on commission.

And finally, as we soon enter the last quarter of 2013 there are many opportunities for Travel Agents to participate in product launches to learn more. Suppliers take a lot of time and effort to put on the event and share their information with you. Take the time to listen and learn new things. For ACTA, we'll be mingling with our members during Canadian Traveller’s TravXchange meeting and marketplace national roadshow. This roadshow is for ACTA members (Top Canadian Travel Agents) and global suppliers. We will also be found participating in Transat's product launches. Come and meet your local ACTA regional representitives. Take a moment to hear what we have been up to and all that ACTA membership has to offer. Let us bring you up to speed on our Advocacy efforts, Educational priorities, Cost savings business tools, ID Card program and Strategic partnerships.

Consumers are our focus in October when our Quebec office participates in the SITV 'Salon", and in December its the Ultimate Travel Show in Toronto. Both SITV and the Ultimate Travel Show are consumer focused shows where ACTA can be found promoting the value of using an ACTA travel agent, ACTA's number one strategic priority.





David McCaig
President and COO