The Advantage Travel Partnership Celebrates 15 Years of the Advantage Managed Service Model

Next month The Advantage Travel Partnership will mark the 15th anniversary of its Advantage Managed Service (AMS) model.

Advantage introduced this model in June 2009 to alleviate the time and resources needed to run the operational side of a travel business and allow more time for members to focus on sales and customer service.  Since then, the membership has grown significantly and today encompasses 76 branches, which collectively generate an annual turnover of £150m.

Paul Nunn, Chief Operating Officer, The Advantage Travel Partnership, says that it’s the fastest growing model for members across its partnership with turnover up 63% verses pre-pandemic.

He said: “This model is by far the most popular for new members coming into the group.  One of the main benefits for members is that all their client monies are protected in trust, making it best in class in terms of managed service models, as most comparable models only segregate own-ATOL monies. In addition to having access to dedicated financial administration resources, members also have sight of incoming customer bank transfers as each members trust account is ringfenced, meaning we can extend online bank account access to every individual member.

“We are continuing to invest heavily in this important part of our business and within the last 12 months have implemented a new back-office system. AMS isn’t only market-leading in its own right; members operating within this model also gain automatic access to a varied array of additional benefits which come with being a member of Advantage.”

The Partnership’s most recent new member of its AMS model is Spalding-based Holiday Dreams.  Since the business opened, Holiday Dreams have achieved over a quarter of million pounds in turnover which has exceeded the expectations of owners Joanne Devaney and Laura Rodrigues, who are both ex-Thomas Cook employees.

Devaney said: “We are really seeing the benefit of the Advantage Managed Service model. Both Laura and I have a combined experience of 20 years in retailing travel and from the outset wanted to focus on building our relationships with customers, marketing and sales and not be bogged down in the back-office functions. The model is totally geared for our leisure travel proposition providing all the tools and services you need to help run our travel agency business smoothly and efficiently.”

Sophie Lombari of Abbot Travel added: “Buying an established travel business which was in decline would be daunting to many however as a family we took on the challenge 15 years ago with the support of Advantage. Not only as a part of their membership but we also become one of the first to operate under their Advantage Managed Service (AMS) model. Without the support of the AMS team, it would not have given us the opportunity to create such a successful business over the last 15 years. Making our daily tasks all about selling rather than administration it has allowed us to build our knowledge and service our clients to the highest level. AMS has come a long way since 2009 and we look forward to its continued growth.”

Benefits to Advantage Managed Services scheme include:

  • A dedicated ABTA number
  • Various in-house ATOL options
  • A back-office System (Vertical Systems)
  • Varied Merchant Service options
  • Centrally administered supplier payments
  • Secure, independently overseen, trust account operation
  • Bank charges and technology fees included
  • Access to dedicated business development support
  • Negotiated commercial terms with over 300 suppliers
  • Unique and extensive marketing campaigns
  • Access to market leading website solutions

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