In the ever-evolving landscape of the UK travel industry, navigating challenges and staying competitive requires collaborative efforts with like-minded businesses, something that the right consortium and suppliers can provide. For travel businesses seeking to amplify their impact, simplify their routines, and optimise their successes joining a consortium is a strategic move that can yield significant benefits. The biggest question is, which consortium is the right fit for you? 

Many factors could impact where you seek the support of a consortium. If you are a tour operator, for example, you may find a different fit than a travel agent or a homeworker. In theory, these are the defining aspects that could change your decision, but the travel industry is changing, and where the line between travel agent and tour operator is starting to blur, it may seem harder than ever to know if consortia are actually tailored for your business.  

For Protected Trust Services (PTS), recognising and understanding the unique factors of every member we support is at the forefront. With a team full of travel experts, PTS continues to evolve our support to provide the most flexible solution for any travel business, not in spite of their differences, but to embrace those differences without unnecessary complications.  

So, with a team of experts talking to travel businesses like yours every day, what should you be looking for in a consortium? 

A Secure and Trusted Method of Financial Protection 

One of the primary things that consortia provide is access to Package Travel Regulations compliant financial protection. For some, this comes purely to please those regulations and take a weight off your mind, but it is important to stay vigilant for financial protection that doesn’t just skim the minimum bar, but provides you and your clients with quality protection you can trust.  

At PTS, this is why our travel trust account is crafted the way that it is: 

  1. Finances aren’t run by PTS, the account provider, but by independent trustees with no stake in your membership, to ensure that the money is in trusted hands.  
  2. The account is transparent and reconciled daily, allowing both you and your client to see exactly where their money is at any time, while it remains separated from other funds and protected while you fulfill their booking.  
  3. Communication is automated and efficient, so if your traveller does need a refund for any reason, or a supplier needs to get paid, the money can be approved and on its way quickly. 
  4. The PTS software system is constantly being updated to member requirements so that the trust account is the perfect fit for your business, not just ours.  

Access to Exclusive Deals and Suppliers, Without Restrictions 

Consortia often have established relationships with a network of exclusive suppliers, offering unique deals and packages that may not be accessible to individual travel businesses outside of membership. At PTS, this consists of an ever-growing list of hundreds of suppliers with exclusive deals and updates for PTS members. This is in addition to any suppliers that your business is already working with or builds relationships with during your membership. 

However, it is also important to consider how restrictive a list may be if a consortium does not provide this as an addition to any deals you already have on your own. In some cases, consortia will restrict members exclusively to their list of contracted suppliers. As a startup business, this may not be an issue in the short term, but many travel businesses do not take full consideration of this prior to choosing their consortium, and this can create a long process of leaving one to join another if this does not fit in the future.  

This is why, at PTS, we give our members the freedom to use whatever suppliers they like, regardless of whether we have a deal with that supplier or not. While our list of exclusive deals continues to expand, members can still seek out relationships with other suppliers that might be more niche or a better fit for what they want to sell. 

Hard-to-Obtain Assets and Tools 

Unfortunately for many businesses in the UK travel industry, there are simply some tools that are nearly impossible to obtain. On the more fortunate side, these are sometimes tools that a consortium can obtain much more easily and give you access to so your business can still thrive.  

Merchant services/card acquiry and currency hedging top this list of hard-to-grasp assets that can make a serious impact on the success of your travel business. In many cases, the stress, time, and money required to obtain these individually is simply not worth it. That is why, at PTS, we ensure our members can access both merchant services and currency assets without any of the stress and for a significantly lower price.  

Some consortia, such as PTS, can also help to simplify the process of acquiring an ATOL for the businesses that need it. At PTS, this means that you can apply directly through our Franchise ATOL at a market-leading price.  

Travel Software  

Software can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you just need to solve one small issue, or you want every single thing resolved in one place, there is travel software out there for you. With a consortium, the right software for you won’t only come as part of a bigger support package, but it could be far better tailored for members, and far more cost-effective than paying for the software alone. When you join a consortium, there is also the advantage of being part of a community that your specific consortium is constantly trying to provide the best experience for.  

At PTS, our travel software is constantly being updated and upgraded to fit the growing needs of our members. Whether they are startups, big tour operators, or homeworkers, our software is made flexible, so whichever part of it you need, you can use how fits your business best (and if you don’t want to use everything it provides, that’s not going to cause any extra stress).  

In an industry prone to unforeseen challenges, being part of a consortium provides a safety net for travel businesses. The collective strength of the consortium can help mitigate risks by offering support during crises, sharing resources, and providing a network of professionals to navigate challenges together. 

Joining a consortium is not just about strengthening your business; it’s about becoming part of a collective force that propels the entire industry forward. As the UK travel industry continues to evolve, the importance of consortium participation cannot be overstated—it’s a strategic move that positions your business for sustained growth, resilience, and success in a competitive market. 

So, if you would like to learn about how your consumers’ monies are protected with Protected Trust Services (PTS) and how we support excellent travel businesses, check out our pages. Or you can contact the lovely PTS team by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at

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