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15 Dec 2017

BY Tom Parry


If Only pledges commission boost ahead of surcharging ban

If Only has become the latest tour operator pledging to increase trade commission in a bid to help agents offset the financial impact of the upcoming ban on card surcharging.

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The luxury specialist becomes the latest company to make the pledge to the trade

Agents selling the luxury specialist, which launched its first US programme this month, are set to receive an additional 0.5% worth of commission.


If Only is also raising its commission levels on accommodation-only bookings to match those given for its package sales.


The news comes after ten other suppliers made the same pledge at the Aito overseas conference as the trade prepares for the implementation of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) on January 13, 2018, prohibiting travel firms from charging customers for paying by debit and credit cards.


Africa Collection, Abercrombie & Kent, Bamboo Travel, Classic Collection Holidays, Can Be Done, Cities Direct, Ionian Holidays, McKinlay Kidd, Travel Gallery and 2by2 Holidays each said they would be increasing commission by January during the conference in the Alentejo region of Portugal last month.


Their decisions echoed those of Sunvil Holidays, The Experience Travel Group and Prestige Holidays, as well as Kuoni, who also raised agent commission earlier this summer in light of the impending payment regulation.


Outlining a set of “promises for 2018” to the trade, If Only founder and managing director Brendan Maguire said the Glasgow-based company had experienced “a rollercoaster year” – referencing its recruitment of former Travel 2 and Gold Medal managing director Andy Freeth as well as other senior executives including sales director Gordon McCreadie and head of sales Tracy Docherty.


“In the summer news of our expansion plans caused quite a stir and our subsequent success in winning numerous awards in the autumn convinced me that the trade are ready and willing to support our future developments,” Maguire said.


As part of the pledges, Maguire revealed If Only would be adding new destinations to its portfolio next spring, rolling out a new online booking system and website as well as expanding its team of US specialists and the number of staff in its reservation teams.

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