‘The Empowerment Program gives an edge to small & mid-sized travel agencies’: A Dharmaraj

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Advantage Travel Partnership has associated with Pricol Travel to launch Advantage Asia Travel Partnership. A Dharmaraj, COO, Advantage Asia Travel Partnership speaks about the travel consortium, bringing international travel services and tools to travel businesses in India by offering Empowerment Program. By Sudipta Dev

What is the nature of your partnership with Pricol, for the India market?

Advantage Travel Partnership is UK’s largest independent travel agency consortium. Pricol Travel has bought the rights to replicate and market the same business model as Advantage Asia Travel Partnership. Pricol Travel, an existing business travel partner of Worldwide Independent Travel Network (WIN) – a majority owned subsidiary of Advantage which operates a global hotel and special products programme, will utilise Advantage’s expertise in travel management to grow India’s first leisure consortium named Advantage Asia Travel Partnership. The Advantage Asia Travel Partnership Consortium provides the necessary edge to smaller or mid-sized holiday travel agencies in Asia and Middle East through its Empowerment Program. This program consists of technology, marketing, trainings, business consulting, suppliers negotiations, networking and assistance in designing holiday products. This will enable them to offer best blend of travel products and services.

Does Advantage Travel operate only in travel B2B space?

Yes, our Empowerment Program is suitable for small to medium sized holiday travel agencies, already in the business and aspiring to grow their business in the leisure travel segment.

Information about your Empowerment Program for travel agencies?

In our Empowerment Program, we work closely with our member partners to boost their business by implementing the right technological solutions and offering their customers the most inspirational, yet affordable range of travel products, thereby having access to the world’s best tourism product suppliers. We are looking forward to associate with over hundred agencies within the next three years.

How does this program address the many concerns of small and medium operators in India? Also, the benefits of the program for them ?

Though there are various travel associations or franchise models that exist in the Indian travel fraternity, however at present it is hard to find a consortium supporting the holiday travel business. We very strongly believe that the holiday agency entrepreneur need a complete business support system who can help them find their way out from the onslaught of the online players and achieve success. In order to address these issues our Empowerment Program extends the following services to the travel agencies: operations management, marketing, preferred partners, overall business management, trainings, networking opportunities.

Your strategy for promotion ? Will you be engaging the travel agent associations?

Since the inception of this business, our endeavour is to carve out value for each of our member partners which would impel longer association and holistic success of this partnership. We carry out informative sessions and educational conferences in various parts of India (to begin with) and invite the target agencies to these sessions. These sessions impart knowledge to overcome challenges that these agencies face on a daily basis and focus on growth. We explain them how Advantage Asia can support their business in achieving the aspired goals.

Your future plans for the India market?

We have a three step development plan for this program: First to get the best fit agencies as members within the program, which we have already achieved; second, reach the right size to continually deliver value; third, once we believe that the consortium has the right size which we believe is 80+ agencies within India, we will build up on that strength and deliver not just what is existing in the program but also strive for a continued upgrade of all solutions including marketing, technology, suppliers and trainings. Also like what Advantage Travel Partnership UK (our parent brand) has been doing now, providing assistance on holiday products and building futuristic technology.