THE CON­SOR­TIUM MODEL

Business Traveller (Africa) - - TMCS IN AFRICA -

Con­sor­tiums – or con­sor­tia - are large groups of travel agen­cies of­ten driven by multi-na­tional com­pa­nies that have joined to­gether to form a con­sor­tium. Orig­i­nally started to as­sist smaller travel agen­cies, con­sor­tiums have grown dra­mat­i­cally and have be­come ma­jor play­ers in the travel in­dus­try. By join­ing a con­sor­tium, travel agen­cies can in­crease the ef­fec­tive­ness of their mar­ket­ing to their cus­tomers by of­fer­ing com­pet­i­tive rates. Travel agen­cies may op­er­ate un­der one global name, or may op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently while us­ing the con­sor­tium’s re­la­tion­ships and tools.

The XL Travel Group is a South Africa-based travel con­sor­tium with a mem­ber­ship base of 150 travel agen­cies spread across South­ern Africa. Due to its size and in­flu­ence (an­nual sales ex­ceed­ing R2.5 bil­lion/$175 mil­lion), it plays a prom­i­nent role in the South African travel and tourism in­dus­try, hav­ing the abil­ity to max­imise pro­cure­ment ben­e­fits with ma­jor sup­pli­ers within the air­line, ho­tel, car rental, in­bound, and tour op­er­at­ing in­dus­tries. Mem­bers of the XL Group are there­fore able to ex­tend a wide range of cost-sav­ing ben­e­fits to their clien­tele through ap­prox­i­mately 900 highly-trained travel con­sul­tants. Ac­cord­ing to XL Travel, the strength of the group lies in its di­ver­sity and the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit of its own­er­man­aged agen­cies and travel man­age­ment com­pa­nies.

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