‘Niche wholesalers are able to employ and develop staff that can provide extensive knowledge and experience specific to their area of specialisation,’ says Rosemary McNoe, Christchurch based business development manager for Eclipse Travel. ‘This gives frontline agents the ability to confidently sell a wider range of destinations and experiences. We have seen an increasing demand from across the country, from both independent and branded agencies that appreciate this specialist knowledge and service.’ McNoe says the importance of being able to react to unexpected situations quickly cannot be underestimated when clients are mid-journey.
A key role of the niche wholesaler is to be a conduit between suppliers on the ground and agents. ‘Having the reassurance that your wholesaler is constantly in contact with the destination is something that we find agents really value and ultimately provides the most seamless experience for agents and their customers. ‘At Eclipse Travel, customer service is so fundamental to what we do and just as the end customer wants a tailor-made itinerary suited perfectly to their needs, we believe agents should get personalised service based on their needs.’ McNoe says Eclipse Travel is able to assist partner agents with marketing support, specific training, favourable pricing and commissions, plus famil opportunities to get off the beaten track in small groups, reflecting what the market is demanding. ‘With more travellers opting for small group, experience-led holidays to exotic and sometimes remote destinations, we see the future of niche wholesalers becoming more and more relevant.’