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ean’s head of retail UK & Ireland, and encountered a dog xcellent snacks and a Barrhead-branded rickshaw


pick-ups. John is especially proud of his latest local marketing ploys. Henry’s Coffee Shop customers are offered 25% off at Cook, while diners buying a


meal at the Italian Grill restaurant were offered £100 off a


holiday during January. The store also runs 20 full-page local


press adverts per year. Watching John’s energy when talking to his team, his claim that his staff are “whose opinion he cares most about” is believable.


.CONNOISSEUR TRAVEL SERVICES, EDINBURGH


ome of the team The Connoisseur Travel Service team


cancelled, including staying on hold to American Airlines for four hours.


.THOMAS COOK, DUNDEE CITY SQUARE


The LAH Travel team with ‘chairman’ Sushi


with a digital currency board in the window, and throughout our visit the popularity of Linda and her five- strong team, including MA Eilidh Boyd, is very evident, as streams of passers-by pop in to wish Linda well on her upcoming wedding and hand


over gifts. Linda’s dedication to her customers was demonstrated during Hurricane Matthew, which hit Florida in October. She left a Chamber of Commerce dinner to work through the night at the store, rebooking 48 clients whose flights had been


Entering the store, we’re greeted by a crowd of beaming faces. Although the branch made it into the TTG Top 50 last year, it has not slowed the pace – thanks in no small part to store manager John Stewart, who tells us profit for the store grew 20% last year.


Although part of the Thomas Cook empire, John proactively seeks approval for his own bespoke marketing, pastoral and customer service ideas. Instead of the company policy of taking on one MA per store per year, this store takes two, and currently has two in the running to be named top apprentices across the whole business. Senior staff, meanwhile,


are The Thomas Cook Dundee City Square team


empowered to offer airport


Despite being a one-branch agency, Connoisseur Travel holds considerable sway. Established in 1987, the firm used to have a sister store in Melbourne, but owner Moira Scott tells us she sold it in order to spend more time in the UK. This agency has been beautifully refreshed internally in recent months – maintaining a commitment to a wall of quality brochures – and the signage out front was replaced shortly after we visited. Store manager Michelle Welsh has risen up the ranks. She has been working to grow the brand’s awareness on social media, but the firm continues to do very well through publishing regular reader offers in national newspapers. Connoisseur has such a stronghold in the area that it booked 200 of the passengers on Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ September Black Watch sailing out of Rosyth, and sent along an escort. Almost £90,000 in forward bookings was generated during the trip. Connoisseur’s commitment to excellent customer service is demonstrated by staff being able to travel to customers’ houses to see them and often offering home transfers. The team is passionate about the brand, with most having worked there for more than 10 years.


TOP 50 TRAVEL AGENCIES 2017 SHORTLIST 13


TRIVIA TRIP


MILES TRAVELLED: 1,063 NUMBER OF ROYAL CARIBBEAN-BRANDED


CAR KEYS LOST IN BINS: 1 FOOD ENJOYED: Posh lunch out with Glen


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