If you’re invited to a Travel Agent only event, would you smuggle in your partner, and hey while you’re at it, your bestie and your mum too? Apparently, there are Agents out there who do just that.

Some Agents are starting to see industry events as an opportunity to invite their friends and family along for a lavish night of free cheese, wine and oysters. And they’re getting away with it.

Owner of Grace Club Travel, Grace Lech believes it’s time to crack down on these industry freeloaders.

“I’m tired of seeing people bring their spouses, partners and mothers along to these functions when they do not work in the industry. There are so many freeloaders in the industry and this needs to change.”

Owner of Grace Club, Travel Grace Lech

Grace notes that not only does this increase the cost per head for those putting on the event, but it means genuine Travel Agents are being placed on wait lists because there are non-agents taking their places.

“I don’t mind so much when it’s tourism organisations running an event but when they’re travel agent specific and the invite says so, then the freeloaders need to take a bow,” she said.

As Grace points out, it’s hard enough trying to compete with people booking travel online, let alone trying to compete with people stealing the places of real Travel Agents at events.

Grace has an idea that could stop freeloaders from registering for industry only events.

She has suggested adding a link to event registrations, similar to the way that one would register for the Qantas Learning Hub.

This means potential attendees would have to provide their IATA/TIDs before they can be accepted for the event. Perhaps it’s a simple solution to this ongoing problem?

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READ: DON’T DO IT ALONE: 9 reasons to use a Travel Agent in 2018

Do you think freeloading at industry events is becoming a problem? Let us know below.