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CONFERENCE


Hays Travel IG Conference: Group holds consortium forum after Irene Hays


From left: Mattie Orvis, My Magic Holiday;


Irene Hays; Amanda Matthews, Designer Travel; John Hays; and Linda Hill Miller, LAH Travel


Hays hails ‘boom’ in agent service as ‘internet peaks’


T 10


he internet is “reaching its peak” in travel as personal customer service experiences a


“boom”, according to John Hays. Hays said long-haul and cruise


were “huge growth areas”. “In travel the internet is huge, it’s a


big part of the market and that is not going to decline,” he said. “But I also feel the percentage


penetration of the internet is reaching a peak. It’s a very big number but it’s not going to saturate 100%. “There will always be the need for


personal service.” Hays revealed that long-haul


bookings by Hays Travel Independence Group members had overtaken short-haul for the first time in the consortium’s history. Long-haul accounted for 46%


5 MARCH 2020 We’re seeing more


long-haul and cruise as a percentage [of bookings], and more personal service


of the consortium’s overall business between November and January, while short-haul made up 42%. Cruise accounted for 11% and domestic bookings 1%. For last year as a whole, Hays IG


member sales and profits were both up by almost 12%. Hays added: “The web is


transactional. If you want to book easyJet for a short-haul holiday, it can be really efficient. But there isn’t any emotion there. Whereas what we


offer are experiences, and that’s what people want.” He said IG members were


“delivering personal service absolutely brilliantly”. “We’re seeing more long-haul


and cruise as an [overall] percentage [of bookings], and more personal service, both from the high street and in terms of homeworking.” Hays IG counts large


homeworking agencies Designer Travel, Holidaysplease and Not Just Travel among its members. “These all offer tailored, personal


service, often in the high-end, long-haul, luxury market.” Hays added: “Short-haul is still


very important – the volumes we do with Jet2 are huge – but the growth is in these areas. I believe there is a boom in personal service.”


Agents receive dynamic rewards on Smile card


Hays Travel retail staff have been issued with new tax-free reward cards which can be spent anywhere. The Smile debit cards,


operated by Mastercard, mean all 3,000 shop workers now receive incentive payments a day after a booking is made. Previously, incentive


rewards were issued the following month and were tax deductable. Hays staff receive between


£5-£10 per person on bookings made on Hays’ dynamic packaging platform, HTOL. The new scheme was rolled


out in February. Managing director John Hays said: “The card can be used anywhere – the staff are loving it and the feedback has been brilliant.”


travelweekly.co.uk


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