ASK THE EXPERTS @ SELECT REPRESENTATION
How time flies! Select Representation has recently entered its 8thyear of operation. Since its inauguration in February 2012, the company has gone from strength to strength, and today is considered as one of the leading sales & marketing representation companies, for both hotels and destination management companies.
Until now the core focus has been on representing the sales & marketing interests of quality partners within the Asia Pacific region from the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands and Scandinavia. However, we have some very exciting news, as we will soon open a new division promoting the Americas, from May 2019. Details to follow shortly.
Looking back over the past years, Jonathan Wilkins (founder / director) and Marcus Leach (Senior Sales Manager) collectively summarise some of the secrets of Select Representation’s success until now.
What’s The Key To Success?
The following key points are what we believe to be vital ingredients to a successful mutual partnership.
- Excellent communication skills (The best communicating clients generally get the best results)
- Speed to market (We like to please our customers by responding quickly, and expect the same from our partners)
- Strong all-round travel experience (We come from sales, marketing, operations, product and contracting background, so we understand what’s needed)
- Good connections (We have strong links with airlines, tour operators, travel agents, tourist boards, pr agencies and trade press)
- Honesty, integrity and determination (Trust is a big part of any partnership. Typically, the stronger the trust, the more likelihood of achieving success for all concerned)
- Location, location, location (It’s no good employing a representation company located way outside of the core travel industry base. Don’t be fooled by a cheap proposal and then get stung by high additional costs)
- Provide a cost-effective medium (As per point 6. If the representation company employed is based outside of the key travel industry hubs, then expenses are likely to be high and much time wasted travelling/ staying overnight). It’s important to note that different representation companies offer different levels of service, so the price might be lower from one, but you don’t get so much for your money! Select Representation provides a full service to include issue of contracts & offers, amongst many other things.
- Getting results (Some source markets can take some time to get established, due to the nature of the buying pattern. Patience is key. Year 1 = introduction. Year 2 = getting into programmes. Year 3 = success. It’s important that Representation should not be seen as a simple tick in the box!)
- Getting attention (We believe in sharing our time equally and allocating a strong person to each account)
- One Stop Shop (Select Representation works with a number of quality hotels & DMC’s. The variety of product offered is likely to open more doors than just one product alone)
- Flexibility & Simplicity (We move with the times.You simply just can’t stand still. Keep things simple and don’t over complicate matters)
How Has The Market Changed?
There are a number of factors that have changed in the past years. Here are just some of them.
- The web certainly has caused a massive stir, as many people are now drawn to booking directly or via the large OTA’s, such as, Booking.com.
- We live in a global world, so rate parity has become more visual (it’s hard to hide things like the old days!).
- The number of representation companies has more quadrupled in our time in operation, with some inexperienced, unreliable and cheaper options appearing (remember you pay for what you get, so don’t be fooled!). Of course, there is no harm in competition but some of the ‘late comers’ find it harder to break down barriers that the more established companies have already achieved.
- There has been a strong movement for tour operators to promote higher end packages. The theory is that it’s better to sell less holidays with a better margin than lots of holidays with lower margin. Less is more, is the idea behind this change. Very few tour operators push 3* hotels anymore.
- The desire to promote multi-centres. The more elements to a package make it harder for the customer to compare ‘like for like’. The typical ‘fly and flop’ has become too competitive versus the OTA’s and the big charter operators.
- Unique experiences are now part and parcel of most holiday requests (people are looking for more than the obvious everyday experience).
- Consolidation within the industry. Like most industries, there has been a big movement in companies being absorbed by bigger corporations. Is this a good thing? The answer is no. The long-term effect is that companies / hotels lose their individualism and prices could rise due to less competition.
The Way Forward?
Select Representation is constantly trying to move with the times, and also look for ways to differentiate from the competition. In 2018, we became a founder member of Global Travel Representation (GTRA). This association was formed between experienced, like-minded travel representation companies, offering high standards, similar services and covering different international markets. GTRA website to go live in March 2019.
Next up, we will add the Americas to our portfolio, from May 2019. This new division of the company will be run by a well-known industry stalwart, who will undoubtedly help Select Representation to expand to the west. Details of the appointment to be announced.
Why Select Representation?
Select Representation provides a practical and cost-effective option for hotels, villas, cruise and destination management companies, wanting to expand their business from overseas markets. We pride ourselves on being honest, hardworking, easy to get along with and certainly consider ourselves as an extension of our clients’ sales & marketing team. For more details, please contact us on e-mail: email@example.com or tel: + 44 (0) 7972 908049