Working with a travel agent

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

If you have worked with a travel agent to bring tourists in to your B&B-

 

  1. How did you pay that person's commission?
  2. What % did you offer or did they ask for?
  3. Do you have any kind of policy about working with TA's? No in season, must be a certain $ amount of business, must be a multi-night stay?
  4. Have the guests paid you for their stay or has the TA run the full guest amount on their biz card?

 

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

We use several and have done for many years - 2 ive been working with for 20 years however they bing me excellent bookings and customers ie

Reservation Highway - they bid on conference accommodation contracts so you get a whole house of delegates usually 3 nights or more, good price and they are out all day so no bother.

Soveriegn - they are a conference organising company and they do their own accommodation also good bookings

there are various others who call time to time but I always ask is the rate commissionable or non? ie do I have to pay you commission or are you employed by someone to organise accommodation? this is quite common with large organisations such as Councils, local government and national government. We were having a macmillan cancer unit built in Harrogate and their people stayed with us 2 nights a month for a year but they had to use an agency which made them really angry as it was such a waist of charity money when they were perfectly capable of sorting themselves out.

My neighbour got in with the agency who does all the booking fo Marks and spencer - big high end department store so any of their staff who come here stay with them.

Working with travel agents can be a positive experience its simply a case of if the rate is commissionable you add on whatever the % is to what rate you want.

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06/24/2008

I've dealt with a few through the years.  With each of them, they booked the room and provided the guest information - including CC# of the guest.  Guest pays the quoted rate. 

Some have mentioned a commission others have not.  I have never paid anything higher than 10%. 

JB, I got one collections notice as well... something like $15.  I never knew I owed this, same as you.  The TA did not mention commission so I wrote back that there was never a verbal agreement of a commission and I quoted the person a corp. discount which would not have been offered had the commission been stated.  Never heard from them again. 

TA's are becoming a thing of the past IMMHO.  I would only consider using one for international travel where a group tour would be beneficial (safer).  In the past I have not seen where they could get a better rate than I could get for the same trip. 

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Joined:
08/07/2008

I've been getting a lot of calls from travel agents lately.  I find them annoying.  I don't really understand the whole travel agent thing and I think a lot of guests are actually paying more for rooms this way because the travel agents charge the guest more than my rate.  I would never want anyone reserving rooms on my behalf if I was a tourist.  They always ask if I will give them a commsion and I tell them NO.

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Joined:
10/07/2008

I was sent a collection notice from a travel agent who booked two rooms here and cancelled half the stay. I never got a letter asking for a commission, and was supposed to know this I guess? This was in the same state, it was from a corporate travel agency who books for a medical group. I was never so mad in my life! I gave a substantial corp discount on top of it. 

I will require cc from the guests themselves and charge the card at the time, and in their name, I won't deal with travel agents on their behalf, again, ever.  

She never said there was a commision, she just called to book the rooms for them. That was the end of it, they paid with their own cc's while here, live and learn.

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muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

 We have one travel agent that works with SR inns - guests from England.  We've only had a few.  They take a 15% commission so we send them what the charge will be after the 15%.  They send us a check for that amount by the end of the month prior to the guests' stay.  They must bill the guest the full amount and keep that commission for themselves.  We don't get many, so far they are nice guests, and we don't have the problem of last minute cancellations as is often the case with third party bookings.  We already have payment when they arrive, and usually before the cancellation period would kick in.

 

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We have it once or twice, but stopped because it wasn't significant enough for the business they were sending our way. Now, we have a company that pays for the room by CC and we don't know what they bill the client. They own the reservation and are responsible for losses.

Commission is NOT payable if they are part of the party. That's not commission, that's a discount. Also, it's only payable on rack rates, not discounted rates.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

YEARS ago I took a rez for an inn-to-inn package we offered for a group of ladies. The person making the rez said she was a travel agent and asked for a 10% commission. That many (would be all my rooms plus a cots so I think there were 8 ladies) filled all my rooms and I said OK. THEN I found out that SHE was one of the people and her "commission" was how she paid for her trip. NEVER again. She was also a PITA - one of the few I have ever had.

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