Broadway Travel has made a bold move to drive growth in the web-based independent travel agency sector by launching a specialist consortium offering group Atol protection.
The Newcastle and Luton-based call centre, homeworking and web retailer said the new agency group would provide cutting-edge technology and support tailored specifically to ‘like-minded’ travel firms.
It plans to offer Abta bonding and Atol cover and is going through the process of seeking accredited body status of the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, following the imposition of new Flight-Plus rules in April.
The new consortium will be headed up by current managing director Adam Pardini and finance director Jill Gardner, formerly of Hays Travel, who joined in May 2011.
The Broadway Travel Consortia (BTC) will be officially launched in December and will target between 10 and 20 firms with a minimum annual turnover of £4 million.
Gardner said: “We are going to be more niche than other consortia, focusing on the sector we are already in.
“We will only work with homeworking, call centre and web-based businesses. That’s our specialisation and we believe we can add real value to the people joining the consortium with our experience in this sector
“Our systems are geared up for this specific type of business and we aim to work proactively with our members while encouraging their own individuality.”
Pardini said consortium members would use the technology produced by Top Dog Travel Systems, which Broadway helped to develop as a strategic partner.
“We have worked with Top Dog and designed systems specifically for this purpose. The technology we have is superior in terms of speed and product depth and availability and is certainly more suited than anything else in the market in our opinion.
“If you were an agent with 15 retail stores we may benefit financially out of you being a member, but I don’t believe our team will be able to add value.”