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store, with luxury swivel chairs and greater privacy, and the agency also has a smart new store-front. Strand Travel’s bookable website

is now two years old and making a valuable contribution, but in a clever move, online bookers who’ve reserved an entry-level hotel will get a follow-up call to encourage them to switch to one of Strand’s “recommended” hotels instead, to ensure customer satisfaction. We’re interested to see how sales

consultants follow up their fam trips by writing a personal report for a local Waterford magazine, and to see the strides Strand Travel has made in social media and email marketing in the past year – always with its TTG Top 50 win highlighted prominently. These extra efforts are clearly paying off, with revenue up an incredible 20% on the previous year.


It’s an icy 1C as we set off to the Northern Irish border. Having earned a place in the TTG Top 50 list last year, O’Hanrahan has upped its game in the past 12 months, altering the store layout to add two more desks and refreshing the store decor. Managing director Mark Clifford

explains how recruiting a marketing and social media specialist last year is paying dividends, with Facebook and Instagram now much developed.

sprinkled County Meath too, with boss Martin Skelly and his team recently winning Business of The Year at the Meath Business & Tourism Awards, against competitors such as Specsavers and Tayto Park. Navan Travel has been in the same

O’Hanrahan Travel staff showcase Royal Caribbean’s latest brochure

The team is also proud to have been shortlisted in three separate categories in the prestigious Monaghan Town Business Awards, taking home the trophy for ‘Best Professional Service’. A new Monaghan town voucher

scheme, whereby locals buy gift vouchers to be spent at one of 60 local stores, has brought in a considerable amount of business in the past few months, and O’Hanrahans also has big plans for its first ever Holiday Show this month, with 35 supplier partners. It’s impressive to see that, despite most of the team having 11-18 years’ experience at O’Hanrahan Travel, there is still a huge commitment to learning.

A variety of fam trips were taken last year and a “training month” in November saw an hour a day spent sharing knowledge across the team.


Local awards are being celebrated at Navan Travel in snow-

high street location for all of its 45 years, but the business was given a transformative boost three years ago when it devised a new brand,, which would open it up to a wider, less localised market. The new brand, and a real focus on digital marketing, has seen the agency amass 21,000 Facebook fans, and an email database of 14,500, and revenue has grown by about 10-15% each year since launch. Recognising that content is king,

consultants at Navan Travel don’t just attend fam trips but write blogs and create video content while they’re away and when they return. They are also cleverly exploiting

niche business, setting up a website to promote Lapland trips, which has seen Lapland business grow from one booking in 2013 to 117 bookings

in 2016. Royal Caribbean’s head of

Ireland Jennifer Callister and I adore the personalised “letter from Santa”, which is sent to children on every Lapland booking, sealed with a wax stamp.

Strand Travel shows off its new Cruise Centre at the rear of the store

Royal Caribbean’s Jennifer Callister (far left) and Pippa Jacks meet the Navan Travel team TOP 50 TRAVEL AGENCIES 2017 SHORTLIST


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