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TOP TRAVEL AGENCY SOUTH WEST


Overcoming fog-delayed flights and flat tyres, TTG’s aviation repo UK sales manager Chris Price managed to take the pulse of the tra


Marketing is strong and access to up to 50,000 members of the public on the Co-operative database allows for monthly targeted mailshots. The agency advertises on local station Island FM; hosts an annual travel show in September which attracted 16 operators in 2016 and about 500 members of the public; and runs reader offers in the local paper. The agency has reported a 7% rise in revenue and gross profit in 2016.


.TRAVELMAKER, GUERNSEY


Tucked away in a corner of a Co-operative Locale supermarket in Guernsey, the four agents of Travelmaker Guernsey work hard to ensure the shop doesn’t go unnoticed; brochures laid out by the entrance attract shoppers, and staff pounce on anyone popping in. The shop boasts a 70% repeat business rate with most customers booking between two and three trips a year. Manager Sandy Ogier believes the service ethic of the staff, who boast 38 years’ combined experience, is key. With most customers aged 60 or older, the agency offers assistance on everything from visa applications to insurance claims. A Welcome Home postcard is sent to returning customers and feedback is catalogued for future use.


.TRAVELSOLUTIONS, GUERNSEY


With five new staff joining this attractive store in January last year from a rival agency, and a doubling in the size of the premises, 2016 was a busy year for TravelSolutions. Directors Fred and Amanda Eulenkamp say a business analyst went through the books to make it more effective, while a specialist wedding service was set up by a staff member, after completing an events management diploma. The redesigned website now


provides information and inspiration and has proved popular with visitor numbers tripling to 300 per day. A drive on the company’s Facebook page, meanwhile, saw the number of likes increase from 79 to more than 900 in 2016. Supplier evenings typically see half the staff attend them while staff monthly updates and


a new intranet system introduced at the end of the year allow staff to keep abreast of the business and share information such as reports from fam trips. Community work includes donating up to £1,500 in travel vouchers to worthy causes. Additionally, a repeat business rate of more than 80% has helped drive year-to-date leisure sales from just shy of £800,000 in December 2015 to close to £1.8 million one year later.


.TRAVELMAKER, JERSEY


Last year’s regional winners on Don Street in St Helier have kept up the good work. A total of £5.17 million in sales in 2016 included a £763,000 increase in retail sales, despite the opening of a second Travelmaker store on the island in November 2015. Head of travel Carl Winn says much


of the success was driven by his seven staff members, who are firmly ensconced in the local community. The branch last year sponsored the island’s LGBT Pride of Jersey event and the St Helier Festival. The agency also hosts its own annual travel show, which in September 2016 was attended by 400 consumers and 30 travel brands. The shop always employs a trainee with the shop implementing the Co- operative’s Unleashing Potential training scheme. Staff also attend supplier events and take at least one


fam trip a year, although they can use holiday or work extra days to go on more. Marketing costs have also been reduced from £40,000 in 2015 to £8,000 last year. This has been achieved by the use of targeted posts on Facebook to the branch’s 6,289 followers with the top performing post in 2016 generating 28,000 hits.


.HOWARD TRAVEL, TROWBRIDGE


For Howard Travel, 2016 was a year of focusing on its online strategy. Director Nick Payton says a relaunch of the agency’s non-transactional website in May with more pictures and blog posts had led to an 80% year-on-year increase in visitor numbers, giving them up to 1,000 a month. New targeted Facebook marketing


has proved successful for the company with a last-minute offer of holidays to Greece in August reaching 6,000 people at a cost of £28. Total marketing spend was £4,000 last year. Customers who visit the 38-


Travelmaker’s Tina Gaudion, inset. Main picture, from left: Sandy Ogier, Irene Carson and Shaunie Gallienne, with Edward Robertson


26 TOP 50 TRAVEL AGENCIES 2017 SHORTLIST


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