Travelers are getting a break.
Traveling agencies that specialize in travel can no longer charge an annual fee, and they’re offering discounted rates on a number of services to make them a bit more affordable.
“You can save as much as $20 to $40 on your trip,” said Kristin Lindstrom, president and CEO of the Travel Service Agency Association of Canada.
“We’re not saying that this is free, but it’s something you can do.”
She said her association had helped to launch the first “travel savings” program for international travel.
Travelers who have a $1,000 annual fee can save $150.
For those who make $10,000, the savings are $20, and for those making more than $100, the price drops to $50.
The first savings offer for international travellers is a five-year, $1 million discount.
For international travellers who have been with the agency for less than two years, the $1-million offer is $500, and those who have not been with an agency for more than two weeks, it is $100.
If you are an international traveller who has been with travel agency Lindstrom’s for more then two years and make more than a certain amount per year, you will receive a free one-time travel package.
“If you are looking for a travel agent, you want one that is going to offer you the best deal, but also is offering the best value,” Lindstrom said.
For instance, the five-dollar discount for international travelling will come with a $25 airline ticket, a $100 credit towards a travel package, a free flight to and from the U.S., and a $200 gift card.
“When you get a free trip, it will be a fantastic opportunity for you to get to know the people who work at the agency and see their enthusiasm and their service,” Lindquist said.
Travel service agencies in Canada have been trying to lower the cost of travel for many years.
However, as technology has improved, many agencies are trying to get into the travel and hotel business and are offering better rates.
“With a lot of the changes we see with travel, people are trying different things to find the best price,” said Paul Oates, president of the Canadian Travel Association.
“They’re looking at different travel experiences, whether it’s using an app to find hotels, or a website to look for an agency.”
One of the latest initiatives is a new “value-based” discount program for travelers who want to go to a hotel for the holidays.
This is a form of a credit that is applied to the cost to go somewhere and includes everything from hotel bookings to the price of food.
Oates said some of the agencies that have been offering this offer are offering it to more than 100,000 travelers a month.
“The thing is, as people go back to their homes for the holiday, there is an opportunity to look at how much more you can save and then use that to try to find a better deal,” he said.
“It is one of the most interesting things to me that the travel industry is working so hard to try and get the price down.”
Oates noted that many international travellers have been using online booking systems and apps to book travel, and some are even taking advantage of travel agencies that are offering discounts.
“That’s one thing that is a lot more prevalent than people realize,” he added.
“People are looking at the travel websites, and the prices are going down, and people are thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to have to pay $400 to get in the United States.’
That’s a big part of the problem, is that the agencies are offering deals that are so bad they are giving them away.”
The Travel Service Association is trying to promote this type of discount, and it’s working to get the discount to other travel agencies in the country.
Oats said that the association has also been working with other travel industry bodies to make sure they are providing travel discounts, including the Canadian Association of Travel Agents and Travel Resorts, and its own association.
“Some of these travel agencies are working really hard to make this offer work, and so we are also working to ensure that there are discounts and that they are being offered to other companies as well,” Oates added.
A number of international travel agencies, including Travel Resort, Jetstar, Expedia, and Expedia.com, are offering travel discount offers to travellers, and most are offering this type to all their clients.
Travel Service agents can also offer discounts for domestic travel, which are often cheaper, as well.
“A lot of international travellers come to Canada because they want to see the United Kingdom and see what it’s like to live in London,” said Lindstrom.
“These travellers, when they go to the U, they want their own personalised experiences, their own personalized hotels,