Should the travel industry ban affiliates?

April 4, 2007

An interesting and fairly persuasive call for affiliates to be shunned by the online travel market was posted on the Travel Rants blog yesterday.

I agree wholeheartedly that anyone masquerading to be ABTA or ATOL bonded/protected should definitely be shunned and in fact the affiliate networks should be policing this themselves. Being associated with a website which pretends to be bonded could blow up massively in the face of a tour operator one of these days.

I also agree that travel providers should be more careful in their selection of affiliates and avoid the spam laden, pop-up bearing sites (of which there are many) and be more selective in their choices of affiliates to partner with.

Of course, this is difficult in practice. Most travel companies work through affiliate networks where there is little to no screening of affiliate websites and practices. The only way to do this properly is to control your own personal affiliate network. How to do this?? Get a really good and trusted tracking tool, approach the kind of affiliates you want to work with yourselves and work out commission deals that are attractive to both parties. This can work really well if you can devote the manpower to manage the network of partners, resulting in higher quality traffic and higher conversion rate (which at the end of the day is what we all want!).


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