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orter and Routes News editor Edward Robertson and Trafalgar’s avel industry retail scene across the south-west region


The Howard Travel team


arrange free upgrades and transfers while hand delivering tickets and free guide books for big bookers is all part of the service. Training consists of one 45-minute


session a week covering everything from destinations to using Sabre. Everyone tries to attend one fam trip a year with the marketing department helping agents tweet while overseas. A mailing list of 3,000 is used for e-shots every other week as well as an annual postal mail-out in January.


Trafalgar’s Chris Price (left) with the Travelmaker Jersey team


year-old store in person are greeted by up to 11 agents on busy days while the total team, with an average of 15 years’ service, numbers 13. Staff


.THE DESTINATION LOUNGE, SOUTH MOLTON


This small agency is staffed by four agents with director Jake Goodenough


regularly dropping in. Few brochures are on display, ensuring customers strike up a conversation instead. New business is driven by a free Destinations Club for 330 loyal members and which not only gives them bonuses such as lounge passes or free parking on every third trip but also a £10 voucher every time they pass on a new customer. Last year 50% of the agency’s new business was driven by the scheme. Meanwhile, a decision to hand over the agency’s admin of its Facebook page, which has 7,853 likes, to a local media agency in May, means about six concrete leads are generated each month as opposed to none before. More traditionally, the 2016 North


Devon Show saw up to 5,000 members of the public visit the agency’s marquee where 20 operators were last year available. Staff attend about four training


The TravelSolutions team The Destination Lounge’s Denise Stanbury and Jake Goodenough


events a year and a fam trip each. Welcome notes from the agency are sent to every guests’ hotel. A follow-up call upon their return ensures any problems can be dealt with. In 2016, commission earned grew 50% to £155,000 off revenues of £1.5 million.


TOP 50 TRAVEL AGENCIES 2017 SHORTLIST 27


TRIVIA TRIP


MILES TRAVELLED: 774 FOG AND PUNCTURE DELAYS: 39.5 hours


TYPES OF TRAVEL USED: Planes, trains and automobiles


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