HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holiday...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from Jetcost.co.uk has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

peter marshIn my previous article I looked at personal attitude. Equally important, however, is your attitude to your business and your readiness to "think outside the box" so that you may not only survive but also thrive.

People in general, and more specifically your customers, make decisions on how to spend their money and what to buy. This might be a new car, a new house or perhaps even a holiday. Then they make the decision where to buy it. Competition for consumer spend has never been tighter so how do you make sure, as a travel retailer or homeworker, that you get your hands on this spend? How do you make sure that the door that the customer walks through is yours and not someone else's?

Whilst agencies and homeworkers may be in different locations and may have vastly different working practices one thing is common to any travel operation and that is marketing. Marketing is a business philosophy; a way of looking at business, if you like. Leading marketer, Theodore Levitt, once said: "Marketing is where the customer is, and it is the customer who in the end decides the fate of the business."

First and foremost, marketing is about making sure that the business is adequately equipped to deal with the current and future needs of its customers. Next marketing management seeks to offer the customer something tailored so closely to their needs that it makes no sense to go anywhere else.

A successful travel agency is one that differentiates itself from its competitors in a positive way both to retain existing customers and to entice potential customers away from the competition. There can be no sounder way to create and maintain a successful business and there is no sounder way of achieving this than focusing on the needs of existing and future customers and organising the business around meeting those needs.

What this does mean, however, is paying particular attention to the current needs of the customer and even anticipating what those needs may become in the future so as to deliver continuous customer satisfaction.

Marketing actions for travel agents: stand back and look critically at your current operation:

· What is your catchment area? Or what is your specialism?

· How many customers come in, phone or email? When? Where from?

· In how many cases do your staff get a really clear understanding of what these potential customers want?

· In how many of these cases do they make a sale?

· How often was the full range of services offered?

· How often was some extra service actually sold?

· How do these figures vary from consultant to consultant?

These enquiries will highlight some areas that would benefit from closer attention

Consider how to get more people into the agency or contacting you:

· Diversification into new areas, what plans do you have?.

· What do you do to obtain new types of business (tailor making, groups, niche areas etc.)?

· What potential groups, just for example, exist in your area?

· How many have you contacted?

What new business should you look at as a result of changes in the travel industry or even local developments or demographics?


· What advertising do you do?

· What results are you aiming for?

· How will you check the effectiveness of your advertising?

· How attractive is your website? How often is it updated?

· How well do you use your client list for email campaigns?

Publicity and Promotion

· How often do you get publicity for any of your services?

· How deliberately do you plan to get publicity?

· Who are your local media contacts?

· What stories or information can you provide them with?

· How are you using social networking?

· In what other ways can you promote the agency name?

This is only an indication of the areas worth considering and analysing. Focusing on them will provide you with the information of the areas that need attention to gain you more business.

Know what the competition is doing and try to make critical comparisons.

· Where are you more successful than your competitors? Why?

· In what ways are your competitors more successful than you? Why?

· If a competitor were to acquire your business what would they do to make it more effective?

When you do plan to do something, first pick those areas where the pay-off is reasonably certain.

Next choose areas where the pay-off is not so certain but even with a modest effort the return is worthwhile.

Remember that time is usually the most difficult thing to find. You will usually be most successful in the areas with which you are reasonably familiar, so always give more time to the unfamiliar areas and expect to have to think and plan more carefully to achieve the results you desire.

By considering your marketplace and viewing your business through your customer's eyes you will start to make that vital difference which puts you ahead of the competition.

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?