Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

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.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.

On the face of it, the economic problems that surfaced towards the end of the last decade are fading into the distance, but the present climate still poses a number of challenges for small businesses in a variety of sectors.

Travel firms are proving no exception to the rule, although some are thriving despite all that’s been thrown their way.

Today, whatever demand there actually is for holidays will be for low-budget breaks and flights, while many holidaymakers will choose to stay closer to home by visiting a big city or seaside resort in order to save a few pennies. Even though the UK economy is growing again, many people are still choosing to be more careful with their money when it comes to holidays.

Dealing with it
Running a start-up business irrespective of sector isn’t easy, especially where marketing is concerned. One of the biggest trials is using social media effectively – 42% of small travel firms taking part in a recent survey found Facebook the most challenging social media channel of all.

Facebook is seen as a great platform for travel firms, as it has room for photographs of destinations, allows for easy interaction with customers and is a handy vehicle for customer reviews. It shows up some of the limitations of other social sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, while there’s more room for original content on there too.

Getting around social media is the first step businesses should take when putting marketing in place. From there, campaigns can grow while getting in touch with customers will be far easier.

As shown in this case study, Virgin Holidays show how Facebook can work well for companies within the travel industry. By using a constant flow of engaging and varied content from competitions, news and promotions, they allow a personalised user experience whilst still promoting their holidays on offer.

Training trouble
Another challenge faced by travel SMEs is staff training, something that 35% alluded to. Getting the right staff is hard for any business, as can budgeting for training. Even though it can be expensive, training is important, especially in travel where it’s essential to have knowledgeable staff who can identify great destinations and the right kind of accommodation for customers.

Training can be done on the cheap if there is someone within your business who already has extensive knowledge of all aspects of the travel industry. Setting aside an hour or two each week for training could help to pay dividends in the long term.

The other issues raised by travel companies were productivity and general ease of doing business. As far as the former is concerned, performance analysis of staff is useful. Those who face customers and clients directly need to be monitored in order to see if they’re doing their jobs in the right way.

This could be made possible by having time-management software to log what employees are doing every day. Also, it’s worth trying to get everyone in your business involved in how it’s run – marketing, accounts, research are all areas where everyone can contribute.

Doing business
When it comes to doing business, guessing what customers will want when going on holiday can be extremely challenging. Should the economy recover sufficiently enough to boost peoples’ disposable incomes, then the demand for holidays abroad and luxury breaks may begin to rise again.

At the moment, breaks in other parts of the UK will seem more alluring to the savvy holidaymaker. Travel and accommodation are both likely to cost less, while the bother of changing currency is done away with. Also, events such as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are sure to boost domestic tourism.

Identifying trends is a must for any travel firm. Checking what customers want the most over one-month, three-month, bi-annual and annual periods is useful for knowing what products to push first.

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