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Managing New Pressures in a Knotty Travel Reality

How do you position yourself with suppliers at a time when high costs seem to prevail?

Holbrook: Most of the companies in our industry are facing 2019 volumes that have not yet recovered and so naturally we have lost ground with some partnerships. But our partners are great and we’ve been able to rebuild as our travel grows.

Springfield Heslin: The thing is [the company] 30 to 35 percent growth per annum puts us in a great position to negotiate with TMCs and hotels. This is an opportunity for potential partners to get in on the ground floor to build relationships with us. Eventually, we will negotiate with the airlines, but I want to time it first, so I have a better idea of ​​our total spend and leverage.

Pronchinsk: During the pandemic, we actually went back to all our suppliers and reduced our costs because there were still trips we needed. [We were able to] Reduce our hotel costs and some other areas as well. That said, I had a big day with our vendors last week. And I knew it was coming, but they had to raise rates. Ashley may have an advantage over companies that couldn’t maintain volume during the pandemic. I’m expecting we’ll probably have a small increase, but we’ll probably offset that increase when we do [initially] Bargain down.

What about passengers getting back on the road? I hear a lot of re-education.

Holbrook: Before the pandemic, everyone knew what they were doing and where to go and how to get answers to questions if there was a stop. Now it’s back to more manual [assistance] Where I’m helping people do more manual work than I ever did.

Pronchinsk: We’ve been driving our travelers to preferred vendors during the pandemic, so I don’t see a real need to re-educate them. [that]. But we need to communicate better with them now because of the complications they will face on the road. We’ve been working with our travel management company, Fox World Travel, and they’ve done a great job helping travelers better communicate the tips and tricks they need for their trip. We discussed with them the benefits of mobile devices, getting traveler information at the right time. So we are working on something new.

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