Clarity is good. We think travel suppliers should make clear to
their wholesalers what the product is, what it isn't and whether
the wholesaler can tweak it when market conditions warrant.
Wholesalers, by the same token, should make clear to retailers
what they can and cannot do for them.
When that happens, the retailer has the product knowledge and
the support to go out and move the product, and the consumer gets
to know precisely what his or her options are.
We may have just described a workable marketplace, but when it
comes to certain Orlando tour packages, we're not there yet.
It appears that travel agents are still waiting for the Walt
Disney Co. and its Disney Select tour operators to speak with one
clear voice about the inclusion of Disney World passes in
non-Disney tour packages.
Disney Select operators are those few companies that have the
right to include the Disney hotel properties in their Orlando
To maintain that relationship with Disney, they are
contractually required to include Disney World passes in other
Orlando packages that use non-Disney hotels, with the proviso that
the passes can be removed if the operator finds it necessary to
preserve the sale.
That gives operators and agents an "out" for those clients who
aren't going to the Disney attractions, but it can create problems
for agents if it means resorting to a manual transaction and giving
up the benefits of an automated CRS booking, such as override and
Reports that this policy is being relaxed or revised met with a
noncommittal statement from Disney and conflicting reports from the
operators, each of which demanded anonymity. Not a recipe for
Travel agents and their clients deserve to know the terms and
conditions under which these products are to be sold. Is that
asking too much?