During a global pandemic, it might not seem like the right time to reinvent the wheel of how travel advisors engage with a host agency, but Era of Travel (EOT) founding member and director of partnerships, David Black, sees it as the exact right time.
EOT was born out of a need to do things differently and reignite the travel industry,” said Black.
He refers to EOT as the first Elective Resource Agency. The company takes a proactive approach that rewards travel advisors who are working hard to keep the industry thriving and allows advisors to keep 100 percent of their commissions while providing access to quality leads.
Specifically, ERA does two things, Black explained.
“We want to pay our agents 100 percent commission, and we want to create an elite source [of clients] for all of the agents that are part of ERA Travel,” he said.
As an Elective Resource Agency, EOT evolves the host agency model, giving travel advisors freedom to do business as they see fit. Advisors have the ability to choose how and where they book in terms of systems, booking engines and other technologies, along with working with any suppliers they feel are right for their clients.
Working with EOT, travel advisors also have access to a database of consumers. 1Club is comprised of small to large businesses, unions and organizations that have partnered with EOT and who want to be able to offer their employees or members travel perks and benefits. Membership for these companies and organizations is free as long as they use EOT advisors to book travel.
“In turn, we go out and negotiate rates, added values and special perks with our partners that the agents can then pass on to their clients,” Black said.
This model creates a symbiotic relationship between the agency and the consumer.
“It puts the power of doing business into the travel advisors’ hands,” said Black. “Do business the way you feel comfortable. You can continue to function as you would with your normal agency. You choose to use the benefits.”
Advisors can do business under their own IATA or True numbers as well.
Currently, there are 250 thousand members in 1Club and EOT is the exclusive booking agency for several organizations, including MilitaryAffairs.com. Agents within the network have access to these potential clients.
“We are not a host, consortia or a tour operator,” said Black. “We don’t transact. We drive business back to agents to do on their end.”
EOT offers transparent pricing, offering a discounted annual pricing of $399 as well as tiered pricing or travel advisors with multiple sub-agents. There is an additional $49 for access to 1Club. Advisors receive 100 percent commissions and preferred partner commission of up to 20 percent as well as access to top industry suppliers and to 1Club members who are required to use EOT-designated travel advisors to receive 1Club benefits.
“We are working diligently to connect the best travel agents with the best travel providers,” said Black. “That is how we deliver the very best traveler experience.”
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