Just over a year ago Travellers Choice formed a surprising partnership with online travel agency TripADeal. Many wondered if bricks and mortar agencies could really grow their business by collaborating with the online world.

It turns out it was a rather sweet match indeed, with Queensland-based Ucango Travel & Cruise Centre becoming the group’s first member to surpass one million dollars’ worth of TripADeal bookings in a calendar year.

Ucango Travel & Cruise Centre owner Dave Hulsman said that while hitting the milestone was an amazing feeling, the true value of the TripADeal relationship was its ability to drive new customers through the agency’s door.

Ucango-TripADeal

Dave said more than 90% of his TripADeal customers had opted into his marketing database, but had never actually booked with his agency.

“Travellers Choice’s preferred arrangement with TripADeal has allowed us to convert those prospects into confirmed bookings.”

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Image: rawpixel/Unsplash

“We’ve found that many of them had considered purchasing travel online, but they were either unsure about the packages they saw on offer or were hesitant about transacting with an online company and wanted the assurance of dealing with a well-established bricks and mortar agency.

Ucango Travel & Cruise Centre owner Dave Hulsman

In Dave’s perspective it has been the TripADeal’s wide variety of products have helped attract a broad range of new customers.

These include shorter-duration Asian and Maldives packages resonating with younger clients, while touring and cruising deals appeal to a more experienced market.

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“What we have also noticed is that because the packages are designed for a more price-sensitive market, they have not enticed existing customers to abandon more high-end products,” he said.

“What we have seen, however, is the odd customer who now flips in an additional TripADeal package in-between their luxury trip.”

What are your thoughts on such a partnership?