Andy Stark, managing director of The Global Travel Group, offers tips for business success following the peak booking period…
With turn of year in full swing, independent agents up and down the UK are working hard to ensure that they bring in the volume of bookings needed during this key period. The travel industry has long talked about January and February being the most important time of year in terms of securing sales and it also gives us a good indication of consumer confidence and spending habits for 2016.
With the current level of uncertainty in the world, unfortunately certain destinations have been impacted, however, it’s promising to see that so far us Brits have not been overly deterred from booking our holidays abroad. Whilst destination choices may have changed slightly, there is still the appetite for the traditional sunshine getaway with long-haul and short-haul performing well across the board at The Global Travel Group.
Don’t get me wrong, peaks is key but we need to remember that it’s actually only two months of the year and that failure to plan is planning to fail. Here are my top tips for ensuring you come out of peaks with your ducks in a row:
Look back at what worked for you in 2015 and what needs refining in the year ahead. Review what sold well and take the time to read about what the trade press and industry bodies are predicting in their annual reports. This will help you form a clearly defined strategy and target your efforts where needed.
Use this time to lay out your marketing plan. A calendar of themes and messages to be rolled out throughout the year is a great way to ensure you stick to your goals. This doesn’t have to break the bank either. For a start, social media is free – the team here at The Global Travel Group find that a weekly schedule is a great way of ensuring regular engagement with a growing community.
Local advertising can also be very reasonable. Our business development managers can provide advice and training in these areas, so please do pick up the phone to us. We’re here to help and are more than happy to provide training for the whole team (in exchange for a cup of tea of course!).
As always, my advice is to make sure that you are continually investing in your team. Suppliers offer a wide range of training options – be that quick online modules to brush up on your knowledge, regional training days for more in-depth insight, and of course fam trips are great for ensuring that your team feels confident in the products they are selling.
Conferences are also great for broadening your industry knowledge and skill set. Our own conference is taking place in Dubai this May and will cover a range of topics around the theme of ‘How to’, as well being a great opportunity for networking and building those relationships with key partners.
Try something different
Now is the time to commit to that area that you’ve always wanted to dip your toe into but not had the time to get started. Be that a push on luxury or a renewed focus on UK breaks, why not it give it a go? Our commercial team can offer advice and support, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.