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t manager Tom Morgan enjoyed sited Northern Ireland


The Stewart Travel team and (inset) with Tom Morgan (front) and Andrew Doherty (centre right) Taking customer feedback into


account is important, whether it is good, bad or indifferent, we’re told. Dougie arranges a daily team talk regarding sales, admin or even the way staff handle themselves on the telephone. As a result, repeat business is sitting at 65% with more


than 150 customer referrals in the past 24 months.


.OASIS TRAVEL, BANGOR


Next morning, fresh-faced and raring to go, Tom and I taxi it to the


From left: Oasis Travel Lisburn Road’s Michelle Telford, Heather Martin, Wendy Harper and Lynsey Joy


picturesque seaside town of Bangor. We are immediately taken with the modern, open-plan store layout and the smart turnout of the consultants. Branch manager, Lynn Jamison, tells us that the store has been open only since January 2016 following a move from a smaller previous location. Since then, the branch has broken an Oasis record – a sales increase of 20% on 2015. Thanks to the Oasis Travel


dedicated in-house trainer and staff attending as many supplier events as possible – staff members even attend these events on their day off – excellent customer service and knowledge is assured. Attracting younger clients is also a top priority – Lynn recently chaired a talk at the local college to help get the brand name out there and share the benefits of booking with a travel agent. The move resulted in 12 bookings and increased footfall for the store. “Even if we don’t follow through each enquiry, at least they are coming through the door,” Lynn says. The branch has been savvy with its


From left: Lynn Jamison, Heather Mitchell, Jill McBurney and Melanie Harper at Oasis Travel, Bangor


marketing too; a holiday ideas event, which 40 couples attended, resulted in a £3,500 Riviera Travel booking.


.OASIS TRAVEL, LISBURN ROAD, BELFAST


We hightail it back to Belfast and to our last store visit. Despite the news that assistant store manager Heather’s mum is ill, she is adamant that she be present for our meeting. The branch has been open just over


two years and is doing a roaring trade – sales grew 30% in 2016 versus 2015. With 128 years’ experience across


the team, standards are high. The team do their utmost to rectify any issues that arise while in-resort too, even paying for clients’ flights from their own pocket if needed. An affluent location helps to bring


high-profile clients, most notably The Fallactress Seainin Brennan, who is a frequent booker and has tweeted out to her 8,521 followers praising the agency’s service and urging people to check out the store. Engaging the local community is also important; Heather attends as many community events and local business forums as she can and clients are often invited to in-store events. A Silversea Cruises event in April 2016 secured the team a £7,500 booking on the day with another £5,000 booking the following week.


TOP 50 TRAVEL AGENCIES 2017 SHORTLIST 11


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