THE CONSORTIUM MODEL
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.