The Australian Travel Agents Co-Operative (ATAC) has expanded its ranks by seven new members in recent months, with a number of further prospects “well into the pipeline” as agencies consider their post-pandemic options.
ATAC GM Michelle Emerton and Chairman Ken Morgan told Travel Daily the key attraction for many of the additions is that unlike many other agency groups “we are not locking anyone in”.
“There is no fee to join, no ongoing fees, no marketing levies and no franchise fees,” Emerton said, meaning ATAC members are able to use their funds to “invest in their own future, rather than a brand’s future”.
She noted that the current COVID-19 situation had forced many business owners to reassess their position and had given them an opportunity to look at their bottom line.
Transparency is also a key attractor for many ATAC members, who are given complete autonomy about how they support preferred partners. “We don’t tell our members who they have to use - but by the same token our preferred deals give them plenty of opportunities to make some serious money,” Morgan noted, with prospective new members often comparing ATAC’s offering with the deals offered by their current network. “99 times out of 100 we are in the money,” he said. As a cooperative, all ATAC members hold shares in the group which pre-COVID were delivering a 12% dividend, while also giving members up to seven override payments a year complete with itemised accounts so they can see the results of their support for preferreds.
“Every single sale made with a preferred partner makes our members money,” Morgan said. Emerton said while ATAC had long been seen as one of the industry’s best kept secrets, “we’re not the quiet achievers any more,” with the support provided to members over the last 20 months putting agents in a “good position to restart again” as the pandemic subsides.
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Source: Bruce Piper Travel Daily 8th September