The Travel Junction applauds easing of US entry

Significant increased demand and bookings starting to flow

Executives from burgeoning Australian wholesaler, The Travel Junction (TTJ), were in the United States last week meeting new and potential partners as they continue to expand the breadth of the HELiO booking platform.

In Orlando, Florida participating at the annual tradeshow IPW were The Travel Junction’s James Whiting, General Manager and Kevin Looney, Director of Sales.

The US is the number one destination for forward bookings at The Travel Junction, driven primarily by California and Hawai’i – always highly desired destinations for Australian holidaymakers.

Such has been the company’s success with US packaging since HELiO’s launch just 8 months ago, The Travel Junction was among 51 globally recognised businesses on the 2022 Honoree list at IPW’s Chairman’s Circle Honors – and just one of three from Australia.

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The past weekend’s announcement by the US Government removing its mandatory proof of a negative COVID-19 test for all arrivals, effective immediately, was warmly welcomed by The Travel Junction.

“This decision will provide further confidence in Australians’ booking US holidays,” Whiting told LATTE.

“We’ve experienced significant increased demand and booking conversions to America over the past few days – this news could not have come at a better time – with the upcoming US summer and Australian July and September school holidays driving sales.”

Whiting said supply partners at IPW were thrilled to have Australian travellers back in their hotels and experience their attractions.

One of TTJ’s major new partners is Disney Destinations, with the Flight Centre-backed travel company currently running a promotion with Disneyland and Delta Air Lines.

Disneyland Resort. ©Disney

“Providing a minimum of three nights are booked via our HELiO platform, competitive Delta Air Lines fares can be booked using our wholesale fares. These can be combined with great accommodation offers at Disney ‘Good Neighbor’ Hotels; our 16 available Disneyland Resort park ticketing options and return transfers from LAX with Karmel Shuttle.”

“We offer full flexibility and the capability for advisors to control the package sell price to their clients – so they are in complete control to optimise their margin on each package booked,” he said of the Disneyland deals.

A high-end accommodation example is The Travel Junction’s seven-night package at Homewood Suites by Hilton Anaheim Resort Convention Center, including breakfast, 5 Day Hopper Ticket with Genie+ service and return economy class flights to Los Angeles with Delta, available priced from AU$3,151 per person.

TTJ’s dynamic packaging feature makes it easy for travel advisors to upgrade guests’ cabin experience to Delta Air Lines Premium Select or Delta One, which is operating daily from Sydney and increasing to ten services weekly from 16 December.

Advisors can also seamlessly build their own up-market packages in HELiO with any of TTJ’s partners, such as Marriott Anaheim and Hyatt Place.

Delta Air Lines Premium Select Seat

As a B2B wholesaler, Whiting said TTJ has teamed up with similar organisations that are “extremely trade focussed”.

“The Travel Junction is trade-only and so supporting trade partners not only with attractive product and competitive pricing but with 24/7 support across four global hubs reflects our commitment to travel advisors,” Whiting told LATTE.

He said TTJ is the only Australian dedicated online trade wholesaler offering flights, accommodation, transfers, tours and attractions on an easy-to-use online platform. HELiO has the capability to assign unique Package Codes that an advisor can readily access using just the code and their clients’ month of travel. HELiO also enables advisors to develop their own dynamic packaging.

Hundreds of new suppliers’ products is being integrated into HELiO each month. Presently, the platform has more than 250,000 Hotels and Resorts and 30,000 tours and attractions globally.

Downtime at IPW 2022 in Orlando - enjoying the festivities at one of the galaxy's most infamous watering holes, Oga's Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Walt DIsney World, from left are: Amy Mortlock, Disney Destinations International; James Whiting, TTJ; Raghavendra Rathore, Think Strawberries; Kevin Looney, TTJ; and Samantha Harman, TravelManagers.

“To help educate on destinations and enable advisors to deliver great value for money packages, The Travel Junction has hundreds of curated packages that advisors can easily book and confirm instantaneously using nominated product or inter-changing with their own selected air/accommodation/tours that suit their clients,” Whiting said.

“With downward pressure on air commissions from 1 July, advisors need to optimise their share of their clients’ wallets through accommodation, tours, attractions, and experience sales. The HELiO platform makes it easy for advisors to control their clients’ gross package sale price, enabling them to control their own sales margin.”

TTJ offers some of the highest industry standard commissions, in most cases up to 12%, and can access wholesale air, providing frontline sellers with fares not easily unlocked via the GDS or consolidators, often with a minimum of three nights’ accommodation.

“We’re not only about packages as there’s no minimum sales commitment with The Travel Junction. If an agent wants to book just one nights’ accommodation or a one-way transfer, HELiO makes it simple to that.”

He also confirmed the addition of cruise product is on the horizon for The Travel Junction.

“We’re looking forward to shortly adding global Cruise product into HELiO and just like all our products we will support this with our commitment to a ‘no fee’ booking policy,” he told LATTE.

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