The fastest and most cost effective way of starting or expanding a travel business
Major Independent Partners is for those that are serious about starting and growing a travel business
There are no joining fees- as long as we can see you are serious and have drive, we are happy for you to become our partner
We provide you with product, infrastructure, technology and back office- so all you need to do is focus on driving the business
Is this for You?
Major Independent Partners is not a homeworking provider. Our infrastructure is for those who want to start and grow their travel business and have ambitions to employ more people within the first 2 years.
We are flexible in our approach, and understand that different businesses have different infrastructure requirements. Talk to us about how we can help you succeed in travel.
We invest in the best businesses
If you have something truly unique to offer and have spotted a niche in the market that is ripe for exploiting, we may invest in your business to help you fast track your growth.
How it works
Benefits- What we provide
Our technology platform handles everything from sales and reservations to rates management and accounting.
It is a platform that would typically cost you over £100 per user per month but we provide it free of charge!
Content manager for
- Hotel information and images
- Cruise ships and itineraries
- Multi Destination Itineraries and Tours
- Rates and contract management
- Manage your own allocations
- XML feeds from over 100 hotel aggregators, bed banks and DMCs
- Rates management
- Integrated flights booking system
- Complex airfares
- Booking management
- Personal Information and Preferences
- Booking History and Trends
- Build package holidays quickly and efficiently
- Pricing and balance information generated automatically
- Automated client balance collection system
- Car Hire
- Price and book transfers and chauffeur drive from our DMC partners and transfer providers around the world
- Price and book excursions and attraction tickets
Ready to launch Website
We provide you with our fully customised version of the Concorde Travel Platform which has been specifically adapted to our needs. The platform integrates directly with our ready to launch website which has all the functionality you will need, regardless of the market segment of travel you intend to operate in. You can take as little or as much of the website as you like. Everything will be branded in your company’s logo and brand colours.
Our plug and play solution will benefit all of the following segments:
- Online Travel Agency
- Tour Operator
- Niche or specialist interest travel
- Business Travel
- Bed bank or Hotel only provider
- Online flights engine
- Tailor made specialist
If you don’t want our ready to go site, our IT team can help you to create a bespoke website, designed around your needs and criteria.
Talk to us for more information about this.
Directly contracted product
They key to being competitive in a crowded industry is having access to directly contracted product.
Unlike travel agents that sell the product of a tour operator who also earns a margin on what they sell, you will have access to direct contracts with hotels, ground handlers, tour and excursion providers in destination, airlines car hire and cruise. The rates we get access to are FIT rates that are exclusively distributed to tour operators who must package these rates with other product. The main advantage of having access to directly contracted product is that you are able to make a much higher margin than a travel agent because there are no middle men involved.
We hold direct FIT and IT rates with:
- DMCs and Receptive Operators
- Tour and Excursion Providers
- Cruise Lines
- Car Hire Companies
- Transfer providers
- Rail Operators
Your own direct contacts
You may have a direct relationship with specific suppliers that you want to work with. We can approve this suppliers and add their product offering into our portfolio so that you can work with the providers that offer the product you need to operate within your specific market segment or niche.
Many product suppliers will require financial security or undertake credit checks before agreeing to work with a foreign partner. We are able to provide suppliers with financial security and we have a 90%+ credit score on Credit Safe which means that most suppliers will be able to work with us.
Low rate credit card merchant facilities
In the past, travel companies would add a surcharge to the cost of a holiday to cover the cost of the credit card processing which generally varies between 1.1% and 2%. Since the new directive that came into force in January 2018, it is no illegal to charge the consumer a surcharge for using a credit card. The impact of this is that the fee must be absorbed into the costs which reduces margins.
Every time you make a booking, the client will receive a link to pay for their holiday itinerary. The online payment options uses 3D secure which eliminates the risk of fraud and chargebacks.
ABTA, ATOL & IATA
All bookings you make will be covered by our ATOL. This means all your customers will be financially protected when making an air inclusive holiday. You will also benefit from the confidence that the customer has when booking with an ATOL accredited agent. As a Major Independent Partner, we will list your brand name and URL under our ATOL licence which consumers will be able to verify on the ATOL website.
We are also members of ABTA which means you can book product with the vast majority of UK based travel wholesalers and tour operators. Suppliers will be protected under the ABTA SPS scheme. There are many wholesalers and tour operators that will only work with ABTA bonded agents.
As an IATA agent, we can issue tickets ourselves. As a partner, you will also be able to issue tickets directly within the system provided payment has been received on a booking.
Seat Only & IT Fares
There are four main types of air fare in the UK market:
- Seat Sale
We offer 3 of the 4 fare types
This is the standard fare which can be booked by any IATA travel agent. It is also the fare that an airline will sell on its own direct sell distribution channels.
IT stands for Inclusive Tour. These fares are provided to tour operators with the explicit condition that the fare is not sold as a stand alone ticket. These fares must be sold as part of a package that includes car hire, hotels or cruise. The fares have the following benefits
- The fare can be lower than seat sale and published fares and is a way of airlines filling up seats at a lower price without exposing the rate
- The tickets on an IT fare don’t have to be issued until 60 - 30 days prior to departure which allows tour operators to collect a low deposit for a confirmed booking and only pay for the ticket when the full balance has been paid
Seat Sale/Consolidator Fares
These fares are discounted fares that can be sold as stand alone tickets. The prices can be £10-£50 cheaper than the published fare. Most airlines impose minimum mark ups on seat sale fares so that third parties don’t sell at a lower rate than the airline’s own distribution channels.
FIT Hotel RatesIn the same way that airlines offer IT fares, hotels offer FIT which stands for Free Independent Traveller. Like IT fares, FIT rates can only be sold as part of package so that the bare rate is not exposed. Hotels use this rate to allow their rooms to be sold at a discounted price without deterring users to book through their own direct sell distribution channels. FIT also offer flexibility in that many can be cancelled up to 7 days before departure without any penalty.
FIT Cruise RatesCruise lines also offer discounted rates to tour operators that must be sold of a flight inclusive or hotel inclusive package. These rates can be as much as 35% below the cruise line’s published rates.
Most cruise lines remunerate travel agents with a commission. The highest producing agents get a maximum commission of 20% which means our rates are 15% lower than the best rates a travel agent is able to offer.
We have over 1,000 tours across all continents loaded and ready to sell in our system. In addition to this, we allow you to work with tour providers that you already have an established relationship with.
Our technology also allows you to build your own tours which will be of particular benefit to companies that are looking to run their own niche market escorted tours. You can load and manage:
- Itinerary information
- Allocation of rooms on flights, hotels, excursions
- Passenger manifests
- Yield Management
In addition to the core product offering, travel management also involves providing ancillary products and services to your clients. We are able to provide you with product and the infrastructure to book the following:
- Airport Lounges
- Airport Parking
- Travel insurance
- Foreign Exchange
Ground handlers and DMCs
We have contracts with DMCs, incoming receptive operators and ground handlers across the world. Access to these companies will be available by default in the platform that we provide you and will allow you to book hotels, transfers, tours and excursions.
We understand that you may want to work with specialist operators in the country or market you are specialising in. As a Major Independent Partner, you will simply need to notify us of any new suppliers you want to add, and subject to our due diligence these suppliers and their product will also be added to the platform. You will also have the ability to negotiate and promote deals that are exclusive to you that you have agreed through your own relationships with these suppliers.
Commercial terms with UK tour operators
We have negotiated commercial agreements with many UK based tour operators allowing you to sell product that Major Travel may not currently offer or specialise in.
As an ABTA bonded agent, you will be able to work with the vast majority of UK based tour operators. If you intend to push a large volume of business through specific tour operators, we can negotiate better commercial terms that provide you with a greater level of commission or an override based on performance at the end of each year.
GDS/ CRS system
We will provide you with your own Pseudo City Code, which is a unique GDS identifier for an individual company. Every member of your team will have access to their own Amadeus or Galileo terminal.
Within the GDS, you will have access to all our net and IT fare agreements and you will be able to hold and book seats as well as issue tickets.
You will have the ability to view fare rules, change PNRs and cancel reservations.
Marketing & Social Media
Most if our partners have their own unique strategies to promote their brands and drive leads. All of our partners however also benefit from our extensive marketing recourses to complement their own initiatives. Some of our partners choose to exclusively use our marketing resources and infrastructure to drive business.
We can support you with:
We have developed a highly sophisticated social media strategy and have a team of experts that will help you to leverage the power of these platforms. We will assist you in exploiting opportunities on both paid and free methods of social media promotion.
Posters and JPGs
We produce a range of promotional materials featuring holiday offers, tours, inspiration messages related to travel and exclusive images. These can be used for both print marketing and to send out on social media platforms or email.
Sending out marketing materials by email to your own database might seem like a straightforward task, but if not done correctly can result in emails going into junk boxes and your domain being blacklisted by ISPs or worse, fines from the ICO for breaching GDPR regulations. We provide you with the infrastructure to effectively and lawful engage in email marketing campaigns.
If executed effectively, paid marketing on search engines can be very profitable. If PPC is not managed properly however, you can end up spending more than you bring in and loosing a lot of money.
Our technology will allow you to determine exactly how much of a return you are generating for every £1 spent on paid search engine marketing. Our infrastructure will allow you to see which search terms generate the highest returns and which ones cost you more than they generate. This will allow you to optimise your marketing to achieve maximum yield.
We have also agreed highly competitive rates with search engine marketing companies that can manage your paid marketing for you. Some of these firms will work on a cost per lead, so you pay a fixed amount for each enquiry you get
Our ready to launch website has been designed around SEO so that as you add content, you can be confident of quickly rising up the ranks of the natural listings on social media.
Major Travel have over 50 freelance travel writers that can write unique destination content, product descriptions and blog articles that will help you rise in the search engine rankings. All the content they produce can be written with the keywords you want to focus in seamless embed into the content.
At a more basic level, you will be able to set your own meta tags, meta descriptions, page titles and keywords using the content management system that comes as part of the technology platform we provide you.
We provide regular video content for distribution by agents on social media. Video content we provide agents is branded with the Major Travel logo, however, as a partner, you will be able to have these videos with your own branding on it. We produce videos that feature:
- Single centre holidays
- Multi day tours
- Destination videos
- Hotel videos
Video content is one of the most effective drivers of sales on social media, and a single video with a targeted offer can result in hundreds of enquiries in the week that you post it.
Legal and Compliance
One of the hurdles that many new travel businesses trip up on is the legal requirements, risk management and the regulatory framework.
The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018
One of the most important aspects of the act to understand is that the principal is liable for the action of its suppliers. The UK based tour operator acts as the principal for all ATOL protected holidays sold in the UK. That means that if your customer breaks a tooth because of a stone in their rice at the hotel restaurant, the principal is liable for the costs of the dental work.
There are also various obligations placed on the principal with regards to terms and conditions, refunds, cancelations, and other aspects regarding the fulfilment of the contract. As an independent partner, we take care of all the obligations under the act – something which a standalone start up would have to take the burden of when starting up.
Everything you sell will be covered by our group professional indemnity and tour operators liability insurance. You will have to pay a premium towards the group cover, but this will be significantly lower than the cost of insurance as a new business starting up in the travel industry. You can also benefit from the discounted rates we have access to for directors and officers liability insurance, employers liability insurance and office and contents insurance.
Risk Management and Legal Matters
We will work with you to ensure you take steps to minimise risks for your business. We will help you develop processes and procedures in relation to employment law, data protection, GDPR, health and safety, tax, and all other legal and regulatory matters to minimise the risk of your business becoming the target of litigation or legal action.
Our telephone systems provider will be able to set you up with a hosted business telephone system for only £15 per user per month. The benefits of a hosted telephony solution include:
- 2,500 minutes of UK landline and mobile minutes
- Up to 3 telephone numbers per user
- Free internal calling
- Call recording
Direct link to back office system
- link every call to a booking or enquiry
- find all calls in relation to a booking
- listen to all calls link to a boking
- Conversion tracking
- Sales performance by consultant
- Remote access for homeworkers
- Smartphone app to make and receive calls using the system
What you could earn
The answer is simply – the sky is the limit
For every member of staff you employ, you should be generating a net profit of £2,000 per month. So if you are ambitious, have the drive to succeed and have the expertise and the passion for the area of travel you are focussing on, you could be doing very well, very quickly.
Our target partner would be looking to have enough business to employ:
Based on this, by year 5, we would expect a typical partner to be earning almost
£500,000 per year net profit
Some of our partners already do much better than this with one partner generating £120,000 profit per year with just 2 reservations staff plus the owner!
Our partner programme is designed for various sectors of the industry
Supporting Your Growth
We can provide you with as little or as much help as you need to grow your business. Some of the things we offer include
- PPC and SEO support, training and guidance
- API Feeds to travel aggregators such as Kayak, Skyscanner, Travel Supermarket & Deal checker
- Social media strategy development
- Video marketing
- Marketing automation
- Strategic planning and business strategy development
- HR and talent management
- Financial planning- accounting, budgets and forecasting, cash flow and risk
- Business coaching and mentoring
- Sales and communication skills training
- Supplier and product training
- Management and leadership development
- Systems training
- How to effectively use social media
44 YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG!
Founded in 1974 by the Widdowson family, Major Travel was created to serve the needs of travel agents. Whilst the company has grown to become a significant wholesaler in the travel industry the core family values upon which the business was established upon still remain at the heart of the company’s culture and ethos.
We have directly negotiated net rates contracts with
- Over 100 scheduled airlines
- Thousands of hotels
- Car Hire Operators
- Most leading cruise lines
- Over 100 DMCs, Inbound and ground representatives
Far East And Indian Ocean