No. The VTC program is a participation program for travel agencies. You do not book your travel through the VTC program. Because each VTC receives their own ARC number, they are able to book directly with the supplier themselves; entitling them to 100% of the commissions.
I'm affiliated with a host agency; can I still be a VTC?
Absolutely. Host-affiliated VTCs value their unique ARC number, provided by the program, because it helps forge their own identity with suppliers (not that of the host), and also allows them to keep their full commission rather than a percentage of a shared commission often distributed by a host.
What does the VTC program provide that my host does not?
The VTC program gives your agency an identity and the ability to brand your agency from the very start of your client engagement, and all the way through the relationship with the client. While marketing your business to your clients and when distributing documents, you can brand your agency as a VTC -100%, eliminating the possibility that your clients will see a host agency brand, and not yours. Additionally, if your agency does enough business with a preferred supplier or suppliers, to the point where your agency could secure top-tier commissions if you booked direct with the supplier, then as a VTC you can retain 100% of the top commissions without having to split it with a host.
What is the Agency List File, and how is it beneficial to VTCs?
VTCs are included in the ARC Agency List File, which suppliers subscribe to for marketing, sales, and commission distribution purposes.
How long do VTC applications take to process?
The average turnaround for a VTC application, including a complete review by an Accreditation Specialist, is 30 days. The verification process has been in place for more than 20 years and is respected by both agents and suppliers alike.
Why the VTC program versus another agency program?
The VTC program offers travel agencies the opportunity to do what no other agency program can: provide an agency identification number, plus provide revenue-generating programs, products and services. The ARC number is a key element to the VTC program, as it is widely respected and recognized across the industry. ARC MarketPlace and Agent's Choice separate the VTC program from the rest. Both developed with the agency in mind, to boost the bottom line.
Other competing programs have different offerings, some of which may be more appealing. We urge you to do a comparison on what would be best for your business. We are confident you will find that the VTC program provides the best value to travel agencies—storefront, home-based, new or established.
What does my agency receive from the VTC program for the annual fee?
Your investment includes:
- An ARC number
- Access to the Agent's Choice service fee and credit card processing program
- Access to enhanced ARC MarketPlace commissions
- Inclusion in the ARC Agency List File
- Inclusion in the ARC Check VTC confirmation tool
- The VTC Mark
Your agency does not need to belong to ARC before you can apply for the ARC number; it is inclusive. With the tools and services offered, VTCs can achieve a positive and recordable return on investment.
What if I decide to become an ARC Accredited Agency after approval as a VTC?
You would need to complete and submit the New Agent Application and meet certain personnel standards (to include an ARC Specialist), provide a bond, letter of credit or cash deposit in the minimum amount of $20,000. Learn more about ARC Accredited Agency program.
I'm an ARC Accredited Agency. How do I become a VTC?
You must complete the VTC reclassification application through the Accreditation Tool in My ARC, and submit it to ARC along with the application fee. The statement of ownership form must match ARC's current records for your agency. You must also complete the Affidavit for Accountable Traffic Document Destruction/Return Form.
Can I keep the ARC number assigned to my agency if my VTC reclassification application is approved?
I was an ARC Accredited Agency but voluntarily canceled my Agent Reporting Agreement. If I become a VTC, can I use my old ARC number?
ARC will make every effort to assign the old ARC number, but unfortunately, this cannot be guaranteed.
Can a branch location apply to become a VTC?
No. The VTC reclassification program is only available to independent travel agencies.
Will this affect how my agency's commissions are tracked and/or received?
All VTCs are urged to notify their preferred suppliers of their change of status within ARC, which includes introducing the new ARC number (if applicable). Consider this effort an extension of your marketing and something comparable to your agency relocating or changing a phone number. Your suppliers should be accommodating, and if required, your agency will need to provide a copy of the VTC approval letter. VTCs can also refer suppliers to ARC Check, where they (the supplier) can enter an ARC number and instantly verify a VTC's status online.
What is the difference between an ARC Accredited Agency and a VTC's access to ARC's systems and agency products?
VTCs have access to the travel agency service fee program through Agent's Choice. VTCs have access to most of the offerings on ARC MarketPlace. VTCs have a maximum transaction limit of $25,000 in service fee transactions per week and $10,000 per transaction.
What are the benefits of the VTC program, and what makes it different from other programs?
Participation in the VTC program provides VTCs with access to commissionable products and services such as ARC MarketPlace, which includes passport and visa expediting services. Additionally, VTCs have access to ARC's Travel Agency Service Fee (TASF) program, which allows VTCs to collect revenues from service fees. VTCs are also included on the Agency List, which is recognized by industry suppliers. The VTC does not require any minimum sales volume or investment.
As a VTC, do I have to submit a weekly IAR sales report?