Aito tour operators could soon step in and help agents by taking the brunt of new rules over credit card fees.
The association is recommending member tour operators pay an additional 0.5% commission as of January next year when the Payment Services Directive 2 is introduced.
It is hoped that this will mitigate the additional costs on travel agents who would no longer be able to charge clients to cover the costs of the banks’ credit card fees.
Aito council member Sam Clark said: “Having examined the implications of PSD2 this far in advance, Aito hopes to ensure that operators and agents are not plunged into a last-minute situation at the height of the selling season in January 2018, when the new legislation comes into force.
“Some Aito members have already written to their agent partners, advising them they will be applying the 0.5% initiative.
“Whether the tour operators increase their selling prices or not as a result of PSD2 is their choice completely, and this 0.5% extra commission is only a guidance figure for our members to work with.”
Aito agents panel chairman Gemma Antrobus added: “Both travel agent and tour operator members of the agents panel agreed that it was a fair and essential initiative to help Aito Specialist Travel Agents, who work on a fixed commission basis, to mitigate the impact of this new regulation to their bottom line.
“Even though 0.5% extra commission will not completely cover the shortfall experienced by agents, it will certainly meet the situation half way.
“This is a good demonstration of the collaborative partnership between Aito operators and agents.
“I’m delighted that Aito is leading the way by taking this action to support its specialist travel agency partners, and hope that many of our specialist operator partners will follow Aito’s recommendation.”