Speaking at the recent NZ Travel Brokers Conference in Auckland, director Steve Lee said online travel agencies (OTAs) and airline direct business will continue to have an impact. ‘We’ve got to be more accepting, it’s going to happen. We’re playing the long game, move on. ‘The only true competition you have is yourself – how do you keep improving? Do your own thing, be aware of the opposition but be the best you can and you will succeed.’ Broker Sam Hedge pointed out that agents and brokers tend to ‘focus on the quotes we lose’ but says in her own case at least five out of seven quotes would be successful.
‘We need to focus on the ones we get. Otherwise your mind can be filled with negatives, but if you put it in perspective it is not so bad.’ Nicola Fair, of KNL Travel, agrees it is not constructive to get hung up about a quote that doesn’t come off. ‘Doing a quote is part of our job. We have tried, for serial quoters, to implement a quote fee – $100 and it will come off when the client books. But I agree, if the booking doesn’t happen, let it go.’ Panelists and speakers noted that brokers may not be affected to the degree of some agents when it comes to quotes failing to come to fruition – mainly because brokers tend to gain business through family, friends, contacts and referrals.