Commissions are the top reason that advisors choose a consortium over other factors by an overwhelming margin, according to data from Travel Market Report’s latest report, Outlook on Distribution.
The survey queried over 1,500 advisors, spread between agency owners (42%), employees (17%), and independent contractors (40%), to find that more than nine out of 10 advisors surveyed (91%) cited preferred commissions as the most important factor in selecting a consortium, ranking well higher than exclusive promotions (63%), training programs (61%), digital marketing (60%), and more.
“Advocacy for members with suppliers and responsiveness to members matters most,” one advisor told TMR.
On the other hand, advisors told TMR that a consortium’s minimum sales threshold (9%), data sharing and back office (15%), group programs (24%), leads or lead-gen programs (26%), and awards and recognition by suppliers (26%), were the least important factors in making that choice.
Advisors choosing a host agency also cited commissions as the most important factor—89% of those surveyed said preferred commission with suppliers was the most important factor, followed by support and customer service (78%), technology and booking platforms for improving efficiencies (73%), and training programs (67%).
Those choices are also heavily impacted by what colleagues inside the industry are saying—52% said that a referral from an advisor colleague or friend was the medium used to select a host, well above a host agency’s website (30%), trade media (18%), or supplier referrals (10%).
The difference, advisors told TMR, between choosing consortia and hosts is that customer support and service rank higher than exclusive promotions when choosing hosts compared to consortia—the 78% of advisors who cited it with host agencies was well above the level cited for choosing consortium (58%).
Advisors can read the full Outlook on Distribution here.
The report also includes tidbits including that family and multi-generational travel (64%), along with group travel (57%), are the most popular sales specialties; that cruise (31%) and all-inclusive resorts (22%) are driving gross sales; and that Europe (89%), Caribbean and the Bahamas (85%), and Mexico and Central America (79%), three stalwarts in the typical travel agency portfolio, are still the leading destinations sold.