Trade associations are clearly important to the success of a travel business - if you want customer and industry confidence it seems you can't really start up without one. But what is actually involved where it counts - in your wallet? To give you an idea:
Specifically aimed at start up businesses, this association runs as a franchise to provide licensing and bonding to independent travel agencies. It provides support, IT booking system and national tour operator deals while allowing agencies to run as independent businesses under their own names.
- Lifetime membership costs £20-30,000 plus VAT, with lease option available
- The agency owner is free to sell after three years with the membership passed on as an asset to the new owner
- Also Global Travel Group will provide booking system technology as a part of the fee
- for further information on membership call 0870 429 8100 or visit their website on www.franchisedirect.co.uk
This is the best known of the associations with the largest membership of over 7,400 agencies and tour operators. It will ensure you are taken very seriously from day one but as such its membership is exacting in its rules and not cheap. Start up companies may wish to progress to ABTA when they are more established.
- Business must demonstrate a minimum paid-up share capital or proprietor's/partners capital of around £30,000, but this is flexible
- All members are required to provide a bond to reimburse clients in the event of the member's financial failure
- Registration fee of £330 plus VAT to be submitted with application form
- And once offer of membership made, one off entrance of £1,200 plus VAT
- Plus additional annual subscription fee, from £750 per year, depending on the size of the business
- for further information visit their website on www.abta.com