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White hot: FCTG Independent smashes sales records, up 310% on February 2019

FCTG Independent says the outcomes of a highly engaged group, dynamic business model and increased demand have "blown their projected sales out of the water", with the group currently trading at 310% above their pre-pandemic record back in February 2019.

FCTG Independent says the outcomes of a highly engaged group, dynamic business model and increased demand have “blown their projected sales out of the water”, with the group currently trading at 310% above their pre-pandemic record back in February 2019.

The secret of their success? FCTG says it has invested heavily in building tools and support infrastructure specifically for independent agents, which has enabled them to “drive operational efficiencies and improve customer service.”

The group says one major example was the release of Home, a single sign on portal connecting agents to all the tools they need in one place, as well as comprehensive sales reporting.

They also secured exclusive deals with key suppliers to give the network what they say is “a competitive edge”, including a virtual expo held off the back of the network’s highly successful conference in March 2022 which was the first in-person conference for FCTG Independent for two years.

The event gave FCTG Independent agencies the opportunity to offer exclusive travel deals to their clients from 26 suppliers, including Silversea, Quark, Insight Vacations, NIB and many more.

FCTG Ind Conf Melanie Clout, Clout Travel; Allie Sparr, Marketing Director FCTG Independent; Tyler Higson, Ticketing Account Manager, FCTG Independent; Lisa Zahra, Head of Account Management and Network Support, FCTG Independent

Travel Advisor Matthew Coyle, Director of Travel Partners affiliate, Melbourne Travel Project said “Before COVID even existed, we designed a retail shopfront and floor plan that we thought would be perfect for an industry we knew so well.

“I never could have imagined that in June 2022 I would be waiting on another desk to be built for our growing team. We know our team will keep expanding, as we haven’t even seen the 2023 coach and cruise boom yet.

“More and more people are booking with travel agents for the first time. This is our opportunity to showcase why we do what we do, why we endured the past two years and what we can do for our clients.

FCTG Independent Conference, Gold Coast, March 2022
FCTG Independent Conference, Gold Coast, March 2022

“It is sad to hear many people talking about the end of the industry come July 1, but I am honestly not that bothered by the changes to commission. We do and will continue to be remunerated for our time and the value we provide.

“As a part of Travel Partners and FCTG Independent, I feel confident in the future security of my business, knowing that the entire contracting team at the FCTG are out there negotiating with the airlines who have cut commissions.

“They can do so much more than I would have the ability to do. They are the best in their field, and I feel confident knowing they’re on my side.

“In the meantime, that same team has already secured the best rates, commissions and contracts for land, so my team don’t get caught up with air commissions at the moment. We’re too busy selling the dreams we all had when we couldn’t travel.”

FCTG Independent General Manager, Astrid Richardson

FCTG Independent General Manager, Astrid Richardson, also expressed her confidence and pride in the network, saying “We have experienced tremendous sales growth over the last six months, having hit record sales for the last four consecutive months.

“Our network of dedicated, knowledgeable independent agents are taking the initiative to connect with clients, expand their businesses and take advantage of the current demand.

“Our team will continue to work tirelessly to improve and expand our service offering, ensuring that FCTG Independent agents are well-equipped to run their businesses and receive the most competitive commercial returns in the market.”

FCTG Independent is comprised of Travel Partners branded and affiliate agencies, Travel Associates at Home, Travel Associates Franchise and Flight Centre Independent.

Together, they make up FCTG Independent’s network of over 350 independently owned travel agencies and mobile agents.

For more, head to www.fctgl.com/independent