'It’s an understatement to say the past 16 months have been extremely hard for everyone,' says First Travel Group CEO Malcolm MacLeod. 'Post-Covid we identified there were a lot of experienced staff out there who were keen to set up their own independent broker business, but wanted to still be aligned with the key support and services FTG can provide. That resulted in the launch of the Independent Travel Advisors.
'We want to encourage the ITA members to grow their own businesses, while continuing to provide best-in-class travel solutions to our members who already have very successful broking companies. ITA is designed to complement those existing broker relationships.'
Jacquie McLennan, FTG's membership services manager says FTG will continue to work closely alongside its members who have their own broking businesses. 'The launch of Independent Travel Advisors ensures we are evolving as a company to offer new opportunities to retain our most valued asset, our people,' she says. 'It means they can build up their own businesses and still tap into the technologies and features provided by First Travel.
'In addition to the usual suite of tools and services offered through traditional brokering models, ITA brokers will have access and benefits from First Travel’s consolidation unit; First Fares' ticketing technology, Aeronology, as well as FTG’s in-house wholesaler, Lifestyle holidays.'
New ITA brokers will also have a CLIA membership included and be able to sell cruise via FTG’s Creative Cruise platform, and benefit from the company's white label opportunities.
Through FTG’s Australian shareholder;Express Travel Group (ETG), ITA has synergies with ETG’s broker group of the same name which launched earlier this year. Whilst the two organisations are separate entities, there are areas of collaboration that are already reaping benefits on both sides of the Tasman.