Webjet – At it again, Agents Learning?
7 Months since webjet attacked agents; have we learnt anything?
7 months ago, Webjet “broke protocol” and attacked agents. Timing was everything; people were at home watching television and agents were having a break.
Sadly, timing is spot on again. The world of travel is not being helped by terrorism, indecisive elections and brexit’s are not encouraging forward booking in a quiet new business month. Let’s face it, agencies would love to see the phones ringing a little more in any July!
So the big boys are putting the boots in on the bricks and mortar agency.
With round 2 underway, time for agents to face some facts whether you want to or not.
1. Stop supporting companies that compete with you
Whilst Webjet are kicking agents, they value them enough to try and sell to them. That’s right, they are still chasing travel agents business. Look at this extract from the Canberra times earlier this year:
“…. EBITDA from the business-to-business [B2B] division, which offers hotels to travel agents, was expected to double to about $11 million in the 2016-17 financial year, meaning it could contribute about a quarter of the company’s earnings.
Webjet invested $5.5 million in growing the B2B division in the first half and plans to add another $6.5 million investment in the second half to help drive the forecast doubling in EBITDA.”
So when Webjet offer you points and a discounted price that you can make a spot profit on, will you say no? Even though publically they question your worth? Even though you know by using them you are strengthening your competition?
Sadly, most agents keep using wholesalers that compete with them online B2C. You need to stop
2. Reduce fragmentation and produce a united front
AFTA have made a statement but already agents are grumbling that “they should do more”. Jason Westbury has made a statement but if you want more out of AFTA, then tell them. Give him a mandate to yell louder for you. Voices need to come together to be loud enough.
Have you have contacted AFTA and said “we need help; help us help ourselves”. Have you sent a constructive comment? Or was it just easier to whinge online?
If only we could get Messers Burnes and Turner to make a joint statement….maybe some of my competitors would like to drop me a mail and we can yell together together. You know who you are.
3. Remember history
There are past lessons being ignored that would benefit you now. Todays lesson; this company wants to take you out at the knees. They wont stop.
4. Stop posting complaints on Facebook
All you are doing is pushing legitimate complaints from customers down the page. Of which there are many. It makes travel agents look bitter. You are not helping yourself. Post fact. Make it real.
A lady called Naomi Klein wrote “No Logo” in 2002. She made Nike the evil corporation. Adidas, Reebok, New Balance and a ton of others were also making shoes for $2 in third world countries and selling them for $200. Apple and Samsung do it today but with phones.
Nike took a hit. They looked worse than everyone else simply because at that time, they were doing more than anyone else and they became the focus. Want to get angry? Focus your energies.
….and in summary
Support those who support you. Not those trying to take you out at the knees, don’t let it keep happening on your watch.