Germany’s best specialist tour operators are Chamäleon Reisen, Gebeco/Dr Tigges and Wikinger Reisen, according to an in-depth fvw survey of travel agents’ preferences.
These were the top three in fvw’s first-ever study on how German travel agents rate 18 leading specialist tour operators in terms of product, pricing, quality, commissions, customer support and other topics. A total of 204 agency owners or branch managers were surveyed by researchers IMA Media-Service in February and March for the study.
More than half (52%) of German travel agents believe specialist tour operators will become more important for their own business in the coming years, the survey found. Similarly, more than half (54%) judge the brand of specialist tour operators as “essential or very important” for sales in addition to the actual products themselves.
The top sales criteria, in order of priority, are, according to the survey: “reliable quality”, “fair commission system”, “good booking availability and price accuracy”, “value for money”, “tolerant complaints handling”, “quality of telephone agency support”, “unusual products” and “training/fam trips”.
Chamäleon was the clear winner of the overall ranking, topping seven out of these eight performance criteria, and has the clearest brand profile, according to German travel agents. Moreover, 29% of agents surveyed already offer the Berlin-based long-haul cultural holidays specialist, followed by Olimar and Ameropa (both 24%) and TUI brands Gebeco/Dr Tigges (23%).
Gebeco/Dr Tigges, TUI’s brands for cultural holidays, was second in the top three sales criteria rankings, third for “value for money” and first for “training” but not in the top five for “unusual products”.
Wikinger, which focuses on active holidays (hiking, trekking, cycling), was in the top five for most sales categories, including quality, value for money and products. Fourth-placed Ikarus Tours, a specialist for long-haul cultural trips, scored well for commissions, value for money, complaints handling and products.