Travellers Choice agents have seen a wave of brand new clients entering their stories this year thanks to the new and flourishing relationship between the agency group and TripADeal.

The groundbreaking partnership that leads traditional trade down a new route of collaboration with the online world has so far proved to be a fruitful one.

KARRYON spoke to Managing Director of Travellers Choice Christian Hunter during the company’s annual conference in Cairns over the weekend to find out more on how the new relationship has played out.

TripADeal Co-Founder Norm Black & Christian Hunter (Travellers Choice CEO)

Hunter said that around 80% of TripADeal bookings had been with brand new customers that Travellers Choice Agents had never been dealt with before.

“Previously there were direct customers that were interacting with TripADeal online because they liked the product, but they wanted to deal with a person instead,” Hunter said.

“Now that they can they’re building that relationship with their local Travellers Choice member and now we’re seeing repeat bookings and referal bookings.”

Travellers Choice Managing Director Christian Hunter

And that’s exactly what Travellers Choice had planned when they went into the new relationship.

“The concept was not about shifting existing customers to a new product type, it was about exposing our Agents to new customers that they’d never dealt with before,” Hunter explained.

Despite some initial scepticism about working with an online travel agency, Hunter says members had now  “taken to it really well”.

Hunter said month on month, TripADeal sales are continuing to grow.

“We’re seeing the members now getting repeat TripADeal customers,” he said

There is also the added benefit of customers who come initially to book TripADeal, staying on as loyal customers who continue to book other products through their new Agent.

What are your thoughts on this non-traditional partnership?