Should Travelers Who Book Direct Get Fairer Fare Prices?

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A travel website that does not sell travel but enables travelers to save money on travel as long as they do their own bookings is now offering services to internet travelers. This service is a unique addition to travel options for all travelers comfortable with direct bookings using a new type of travel document called aTopTravelVoucher.The operators of this service are addressing the issue of travel pricing which often includes a 10 to 25% mark-up to allow for the payment of travel agent commission to either wholesalers or retailers but when travelers buy directly from the provider (accommodations, tours or transportation) they can still pay the price inclusive of commission. To overcome the travel providers’ problems of showing multiple prices for the same products and services on their websites, they can now offer ‘fair fare prices’ by issuing top travel vouchers.

Travel Providers are given marketing and promotion in exchange for their own travel vouchers, equivalent to or more than, the commission that would be payable upon sale of their various travel packages and services, so they still incurr the commission cost on sales but do not have to alienate their distribution chain of wholesalers and retailers by offering a retail, wholesale or ‘direct’ price on their website. This is done by the voucher operator who sells their vouchers to travelers at deep discounts to their redemption values to be used when making direct bookings, hence a travel agent who does not sell travel, only travel vouchers and therefore is not a travel agent.

According to the website information of the voucher operator, they are able to offer the ‘Fair Fare Price’ option because they do not have the normal operating costs of travel agencies such as shops, reservation systems, brochures, advertising and high staffing levels, but can still offer the traveler and the travel provider a service that is fair to all users.

Before purchasing top travel vouchers, travelers are advised to check for quality and availability directly with the website of their travel selection and when satisfied, make a direct booking mentioning the voucher, then purchase the voucher. All vouchers come with a 100% money-back guarantee and in the event that the traveler is not happy with their travel purchase upon completion, the cost of the vouchers will be reimbursed and the matter taken up with the provider.

There are three levels of vouchers, $30, $50 and $100usd achieving various levels of savings but to give an example, at the time of this article there was a voucher valued at 1,500 euros (around $2,000usd) on sale for $100usd. If the vouchers are purchased outside of the USA the price is shown in the relevant currency. All vouchers are issued online and the provider is also sent a duplicate with the traveler details to encourage assistance in any travel itinerary planning of the traveler.

So as not to deter expert travel agents and agencies from participation in this service the site invites them to identify any destination and activity expertise and to also offer vouchers to encourage travelers to seek out expert professional agents. Many retail agents offer their own travel packages and tours and many are comfortable in dealing with new clients from anywhere in the world over the internet, telephone or skype. The site cautions travelers to be careful when selecting ‘specialist’ agents who are not necessarily experts and who may have just taken a simple test operated by a tourism office or tour operator promoting their own destination or products.