This crisis is proving devastating Weekly stands in support of you

Miles Morgan Travel closed its doors this week but posted this message for customers

Agents continue to work to gain customers’ trust

Juliet Dennis G

overnment advice led agencies up and down the country to work behind closed doors

this week – but many were hopeful that their ongoing service would secure their customers’ trust for when the coronavirus crisis comes to an end and bookings return. After prime minister Boris

Johnson warned the public against non-essential movement on Monday, Miles Morgan Travel, Tailor Made Travel and Sutton Travel introduced a closed-door policy with staff taking enquiries by phone and on email. Sutton Coldfield-based Sutton

Travel said shutting up shop was the “responsible move”. Phil Nuttall, chief executive of

The Travel Village, has been sending regular video updates to customers to keep them informed, while Full Circle Travel started offering free travel advice on Facebook. Owner Niall Douglas said: “At the end of it, there will be a lot of people respecting us and what we do as professionals.”

8 19 MARCH 2020 Jennie Watson, joint owner of

Village Travel in Surrey, agreed: “If we can come out of this we will be in a lot stronger position and we could win against the big online players.” Jenny Jackson, who owns Luxury

Travel Gurus and runs Facebook group Travel Agent Rants and Raves, has been sending inspirational messages to fellow agents to keep spirits high. She said experienced agents with strong supplier relationships were best placed to come through the situation. “We are working miracles,” she added. Before the government advised

against non-essential movement, staff at Miles Morgan Travel offered to take supplies to clients over the age of 70 who had to self-isolate. In an online video, Morgan said: “We will get your shopping in and we will phone you every day just to check you are all right. We will be delighted to help you.” Hays Travel, Tui and Barrhead

Travel kept shops open as agents dealt with a mass of rebooking enquiries. Aspen Travel, in Manchester,

was offering a 7% discount on 2021 bookings for NHS staff.

The events of recent days have been shocking, even for those who were envisaging the very worst-case scenarios. I have spoken to friends in

the industry, from executives and business owners to travel agents on the frontline. Without fail, they reflect the best of our sector as it demonstrates once again its compassion and professionalism in support of its customers and partners. During these conversations,

I have been doing my best to reassure them as they face almost impossible circumstances. However, it is

increasingly hard to do so when the industry they all love and depend on is becoming restricted and decimated beyond any of our worst expectations. In last week’s

Travel Weekly, I made the point that history shows all crises

eventually pass. I remain confident our remarkable and resilient industry will emerge from this awful situation as it has done before – particularly if the government recognises the value of the industry and the businesses and people within it, and offers practical support to help it ride out the storm. But there is no doubt that there is

more pain ahead before that process of recovery can begin, and the industry that emerges will be a very different one to that which entered 2020 with real optimism. As an independent company at the heart of the travel and hospitality industries, Travel Weekly and its parent company Jacobs Media Group

stand alongside you, our readers, partners

and friends. Like you, we

face immense challenges ahead, but we will do our best to overcome these challenges, adapt our business and fulfil the commitment we stated 10 years ago, and which

Source business advice with Travel Weekly’s o

Amid the unprecedented challenge faced by the travel industry during the global coronavirus outbreak, T

ravel Weekly

has compiled a resource centre made up of advice and guidance from a number of our industry partners that we hope will give practical help to businesses to weather the storm. Travel businesses can access advice on how to streamline costs, keep hold of

cash and take advantage of business rate relief, including new measures in the government’s recent Budget. Companies and associations including

White Hart Associates, Duff & Phelps, Deloitte, The Resilience Council and Hill Dickinson have contributed to the resource centre. It also includes support on practical steps such as trading tips from Reality Training,

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