Agents urged to cash in on ‘earning pot’ of touring and adventure sales

Hays Travel Independent Group members have been urged to cash in on the “massive earning pot” available through sales of touring and adventure holidays.

Intrepid Travel managing director EMEA Zina Bencheikh, speaking as a board member of The Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas), told the Hays Travel IG 2022 conference there was a big opportunity for agents who sold more tours and adventure holidays.

Just selling one touring holiday a month could net agents extra commission worth £10,800 a year, while agents who sold one a week could take home an additional £46,800 a year, she said, based on an average priced tour of £2,900, an average party size of 2.6 and commission of 12%.

She said: “How many times do you need to sell a mainstream holiday to get this amount? It is a massive earning pot.

“Touring and adventure is not that complicated [to sell] and it’s very well managed by operators that make your life easy. You never get challenged on price parity in our sector.”

Many holidaymakers were now looking for more experiential travel post-pandemic, she said, adding: “We have seen a shift. People are looking for more experiences.”

Mature customers were not the biggest market, with clients “more fit than ever and more willing to trial things”, she said.

A recent survey of Atas members’ customers showed the biggest markets for the touring sector were the over-55s and over-65s age groups. Adventure operator Intrepid’s average client age is 50, which has gone up by two years since 2019.

In terms of party size, the survey showed couples represented the biggest market, taking a 72% share, while the number of solo travellers (22%) had tripled in the last ten years.

More than 30% of clients took more than three holidays and 35% took more than four, with the US and Canada, and Europe the most popular while demand is growing for Japan and South America.

Bencheikh added that touring and adventure clients also took city breaks (30%); ocean cruises (20%); and beach holidays (22%).

“You are probably expert at selling these. You probably have a lot of customers that would love to go on a tour,” she said.

Clients are also planning to spend more this year (88%) compared with a typical year prior to the pandemic, she said.

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