Speaking from Mobile Travel Agents national head

first_imgSpeaking from Mobile Travel Agents’ national head office on the Gold Coast, MTA co-managing director, Roy Merricks has joined the OTA/travel agent debate, labelling comments that infer travel agents and travel advisors’ positions are being eroded at the expense of online travel agents (OTAs) as, in his opinion, a “furphy”.In fact, says Merricks, online entities like Webjet, “…should perhaps be more aptly described as Online Travel Algorithms – let’s see them for what they really are.”“Any OTA promoting itself as a travel agent or travel advisor could be construed as potentially misleading.“OTAs don’t deliver the products or complete services provided by a credentialed national agency, such as MTA, with true connections and support for clients on the ground globally.”Merricks suggests that while OTAs originally specialised in either flights or hotel reservations, “…over the years they have generally added to that base to include other land content designed to broaden their appeal.”He says OTAs promote themselves as an online version of a traditional bricks and mortar travel agent, implying they (the OTAs) are more readily available to the client.“Nothing is further from the truth and it is, in my opinion, potentially misleading when OTAs promote themselves as a travel agent or travel advisor in the sense of the words understood by consumers.“At the end of the day, the travel distribution system, travel agents and travel advisors are alive and growing well.” MTAOTAsWebjetlast_img