GTN's Rob Beecher GTN's Rob Beecher

GTN: ‘Model resilient now, ready for the comeback’

As travel business owners look to the future, a network set up to meet the needs of independent agents feels it has the right model for a post Covid comeback.

Rob Beecher, of Global Travel Network (GTN), says although the company is obviously hurting like everyone in the industry, the signs are that the ‘small, lean and nimble’ model has held up comparatively well in tough times.

‘Diversity is our strength,’ says Beecher. ‘In the last couple of weeks we’ve had small positive BSPs – they are modest but at least they are not negative.’

‘Our model is that there is zero cost to be part of the group, which is obviously attractive, and we have provided excellent returns to our agents, particularly in terms of airline overrides. Our promise to be transparent and honest with both suppliers and agents has held us in good stead.’

He says the model means that independent agents are not burdened with a cost to GTN – agents are in control of their own destiny.

‘Obviously people right now are looking at moving into broker networks. But we offer an alternative that works out to be more lucrative for agents who are experienced and already have an existing customer base. In saying that, we do have two associated broker networks – Aspire Travel Group and Travel Advocates, for those interested in the broker model.

Beecher says that GTN employed additional resource to keep on top of refunds. ‘Our turnaround time is straight away and our agents have all been complimentary about that. We are NZ owned and operated and dedicated to looking after our agents.’

He says members of the management team have been on the road since lockdown ended and have seen most Auckland-based GTN agents. The next step is to see all agents outside Auckland by mid July.

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