Tour commissions a ‘necessary evil’
SKY Safari sales and marketing manager Za Harricharan believes commissions are becoming a necessary evil for local tourism operators.
“Commissions are a big issue for our business because a lot of money goes out the door,” she said.
“It is killing the tourism industry because people are making bookings to get the high commissions rather than focusing on booking the right tour for the consumer.
“It’s about time guests are matched with a tour experience that suits their requirements rather than who pays a higher commission.”
According to Ms Harricharan, Sky Safari currently pays a 15 per cent commission for helicopter tours which calculates to over $200 per booking made.
“People need to realise it is about the quantity of bookings made not the higher commission,” she said.
“ We have refused to pay 25 per cent or more and websites have threatened to take our brochure offline.
“My business has been pulled off all the major hotels in Cairns and Port Douglas as we refuse to pay 25 per cent, even though my product would be very suited to their websites.”
The new product, iTours, is very appealing to the Sky Safari company as it offers a new approach to bookings and reduces the commission rates.
“Personally, new technologies will be the way forward for our business because consumers are becoming technology savvy,” she said.
“I believe a lot more people are doing their research online and listening to recommendations from locals before they book a tour.
“ Whatever happened to tourism operators working together to sell the destination, and offer tourists a fantastic experience? Bookings should be made on good services not the prices of commission.”
Feeling it: tour operator Sky Safari