By and large, getting to the point of dealing direct with a supplier presupposes that you are doing a fair amount of business with them on a regular basis — or at least that the supplier believes that you will be. In other words, we’re talking about an on-going relationship rather than a series of one-shot deals.
If you are going to be treated by the supplier like a “real” travel agency, they will probably set you up with a “pseudo ARC number” or a “pseudo IATA number.” The number they issue to your agency is used solely to identify your agency and distinguish it from all others in the supplier’s computer system. It will serve as a mechanism for identifying all bookings made by you and of assuring that you get your commission in due course. It means that the supplier intends to treat you exactly like all the other travel agencies with which it has relationships.
What it does not mean is that you now have an ARC or IATA number. Your pseudo ARC number is just that — pseudo, or pretend.
So why would you want one? Wouldn’t it be just as easy to work through a host agency? Maybe.
But there may be circumstances, which I detail in The Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course, in which it will make sense to bypass your host agency.
Obtaining a pseudo ARC number, or its equivalent, is becoming increasingly easy. If you are a CLIA member, selling cruises as a cruise only agency, many tour operators will accept your CLIA number. Otherwise, simply inform the supplier that you are an independent, non-ARC agency and that you would like to establish a direct relationship with them.
Sometimes you can do it with a phone call, no (or very few) questions asked. More frequently, the process will be somewhat more formal.
Among the things you may be asked to provide are:
Despite the increasing ease of obtaining pseudo ARC status, my advice is to avoid doing so unless and until you will be doing a considerable amount of business with the supplier. Remember that the 10% commission you are likely to get directly from the supplier is less than 70% of the 15% commission that you might obtain through a host agency that enjoys a preferred supplier relationship with the same supplier.
There is much more information in my home study course. If you would like to order the course, CLICK HERE.