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NEWS 1


YOU NEED TO KNOW


InteleTravel says its agents can work


‘full-time, part-time or as a hobby’


Y


InteleTravel in numbers


1991


Year founded, after James Ferrara’s venture capital firm bought a Californian homeworking agency


11


Caribbean countries (10) and Mexico in which it also operates


1,800 Agents already signed up in the UK


£32 Agents’ monthly fee


£142 Agents’ sign-up fee 2


InteleTravel ‘proud’ after gaining Abta membership


Ben Ireland ben.ireland@travelweekly.co.uk


US homeworking group InteleTravel has been granted membership of Abta.


InteleTravel gives recruits, who


are not required to have travel industry experience, the chance to be agents “full-time, part-time or as a hobby”. It is now bonded as a retail


travel agency in the UK having met Abta’s financial and reglatory criteria following a two-year application process. The company – now with a UK-


registered business – is also seeking an Atol, for which negotiations are ongoing, but will not pursue a dynamic packaging model. InteleTravel already has about


1,800 UK homeworkers signed up, and more than 30,000 globally. About half of the UK agents are


already trading, while 900 are poised to begin, said InteleTravel president James Ferrara. He said: “We feel proud of this


achievement and, now our [Abta] application is concluded, we can’t wait to tell our own story, accurately and professionally. “While a traditional


homeworking model exists in the UK, ours is different. “New ideas and new competitors


are vital to any marketplace. “We look forward to making a considerable contribution to the future of the industry here and introducing the next generation of travel sellers to the UK.” InteleTravel has drawn criticism from some UK agents after it began


4travelweekly.co.uk21 March 2019


“We have been investigated and we are a better operation as a result of that”


its recruitment drive via social media. Some have suggested the model – encouraging recruits to start by selling holidays to friends and family – devalued the role of a travel agent. But Ferrara insisted its agents


were professional, and said obtaining Abta membership was proof of that. He said: “We have been


thoroughly investigated and we are a better operation as a result of that review.” InteleTravel has introduced online training for its agents in


Years since company applied for Abta membership


70% Proportion of supplier commission payments


earned by new agents


30k Agents contracted globally, including


15,000 in the US


areas such as GDPR, package travel regulations, Atol, customer service and complaint resolution to comply with Abta’s requirements. “We could have an operation in


the UK without Abta, but we never wanted to do that,” Ferrara said. The company’s UK agents sold holidays only through Atol-protected operators, so had not breached UK regulations, he added. John de ial, head of financial


protection at Abta, said: “We do not take membership decisions lightly.” onfirming that nteleTrael had met its criteria and joined the association on March 20, De Vial said Abta’s role was to ensure InteleTravel complied with financial protection reglation 


not to judge its business model.  Face to Face, page 12


PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK


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