Trending Travel contest attracts 45k followers

Lucy Huxley

Travel agency and tour operator Trending Travel has gained 45,000 new Instagram followers through what it claims is the UK’s biggest ever Instagram holiday giveaway. The Travel Network Group

member, which launched in June to sell holidays off the back of posts, struck a deal with influencers and brands to reach 25 million people on social media. Its latest giveaway garnered

250,000 comments, prompting an 800% increase in web traffic within 72 hours, with sales and leads having “substantially increased” as a result. It teamed up with clothing brand

Oh Polly, which has four million followers, Australian social media influencer Tammy Hembrow, who has 12 million, and Hard Rock Hotels for the competition to win a holiday to the Maldives worth £45,000. Led by chief executive Keith

Herman, former managing director of travel gift card specialists Inspire, and co-founder Sophie Foster, who has spent 15 years in hotel account

management roles with Accor and One&Only, Trending Travel has become the second most-followed travel company in the UK on Instagram with 157,000 followers in the last five months. Only Tui has more, with 180,000. Its posts and stories have been

viewed more than 27 million times, with 800,000 engagements, and it says it has an average engagement rate three times higher than usual. Trending Travel is also working

with Strictly Come Dancing stars, including judge Shirley Ballas, dancers Janette Manrara and Aljaž Škorjanec,

and 2020 contestant HRVY. It has taken 30 influencers on trips so far. Foster said it was a “very different

route to market”, explaining that followers “will see influencers’ videos, and then swipe up to book”. Herman said other travel

companies had only “dabbled” in influencer marketing – “probably because it takes time, effort and a huge amount of patience”. Trending Travel is yet to see large

volumes of bookings due to travel restrictions, but is to embark on a recruitment drive of experienced agents to meet anticipated demand.

Ski Amis fails following

Macron announcement Ski Amis became the latest winter sports operator to cease trading this week. The business folded after French president Emmanuel Macron urged ski resorts to wait until January to reopen “under favourable conditions” in a lockdown update. Crystal Ski also cancelled all of its 2020 departures to France.

Simpson Travel

reaffirms trade focus The departure of Simpson Travel’s head of sales Kathryn Coles following a company restructure “does not change Simpson’s commitment to agents and selling our holidays through the trade”, the operator has said. The sales team will now report directly to product director Mathew Simpson.

G Adventures unveils

tours to beach hotspots G Adventures is launching a programme of active tours to mainstream European destinations that British travellers traditionally associate with beach holidays. Departures to summer sun staples Ibiza, Corfu, Crete, The Azores, Sicily and Southern Spain, as well as Greenland, begin in March 2021.

Sunderland says final farewell to Hays Travel founder John Hays

Crowds lined the streets of Sunderland to pay tribute to Hays Travel founder John Hays as his funeral cortege made its way through the city last week. Well-wishers clapped as the procession drove to the

service and held orange and blue balloons as a nod to the colours of the UK’s largest retail travel agency. In a statement, Hays’ family said: “We are overwhelmed

by the thousands of wonderful tributes, offers of support and messages full of love that we have had. They have truly helped us all through these last few days.” A fundraising page set up in Hays’ memory has so far raised more than £25,000 for the Hays Travel Foundation.

8 3 DECEMBER 2020

PICTURE: News & Pictures Northnews

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