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Bring more theatre to the high street A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR


John Lewis has long been held up as a brand other retailers aspire to, due to its reputation for quality and customer service. And so it was a privilege to interview the chain’s director of customer experience at our Leaders of Luxury conference this week. Peter Cross talked about his work with the National Theatre to give John Lewis staff ‘theatre training’ that would boost their confidence. He said this was attractive to consumers because it gives them reassurance about their purchases. Tellingly, when I asked him if the staff in the Kuoni concession stores within 19 John Lewis branches were also going through the theatre training, he said they didn’t need it! Peter also said the ‘experience economy’ was a massive deal in retail. He talked about holding in-store initiatives such as fashion


styling and interior design sessions, or even sleeping overnight in stores to test a bedroom. Peter said the future of customer service was “taking John Lewis into customers’ homes”, sending experienced staff to houses all over the country to help clients with their wardrobes, home-furnishings or technology, for example. Of course, many good agents already hold events and visit clients, increasingly offering a more personalised service to make themselves indispensable. But agents can always learn lessons from other industries – so why not bring even more experiences and theatre into stores?


WHAT LUCY DID THIS WEEK


Fulfilled a dream, dancing at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom, with Phil Nuttall and hundreds of travel friends, at The Travel Village’s 60th birthday bash.


Interviewed John Lewis’s head of customer experience at the third Aspire Leaders of Luxury conference.


Lucy Huxley, editor-in-chief, Travel Weekly Group ISSUE 2,481 TRAVELWEEKLY.CO.UK 27 JUNE 2019 CONTENTS NEWS


‘No-deal Brexit would be catastrophe’ 4 Agents ‘can help fix broken Britain’


4


Digging deep 6


Lincolnshire Co-op staff transform a school’s garden as this year’s Bourne Community Champions


of the BEST


launch live Cuba to Mental health at heart of start-up


Kids’ activities in the Middle East


A musical toolkit from Brand USA


WIN


FRONT COVER From left: Rachel Gray,


Lincolnshire Co-operative Travel; Erman Housein, Bourne Leisure; Wayne Dennett and Sue Hare, both Lincolnshire Co-op; and Louise Tansey, Bourne Leisure


page 30 Photo: Chris Marsh


Sector unfazed by new anti-fraud rules 5 Live Cuba launch; Haslemere break-in 6 Wooing young talent; Oceania Cruises 8 The Travel Village celebrates 60 years 10 Silver Travel Awards Winners of mature travel accolades 12 Abta seminar Future Skills in Travel and Tourism


14


Comment Miles Morgan: A strategy for Cook 20


NEWS YOU CAN USE Product If Only, Solmar, Experience Travel cruise


Oceania, MSC, Carnival, CMV


DESTINATIONS Middle east Qatar as a stopover destination


23 24


Operator Shearings Holidays, APT, Luxury Gold, Prestige, Super Break, Branson lodge 26 Aviation Jet2, Wizz Air, BA, Norwegian


28 FOLLOW US: -@travelweekly travelweekly.co.uk /


Ras Al Khaimah: World’s longest zipline 52 Kids’ activities: Six of the best


48 54


All-inclusive Tried & Tested: Three refurbished resorts 58 Good value: Local feel, family, dining 63


BUSINESS NEWS Brexit recruitment fears; sector deal 70 Accommodation VAT; tourist taxes


71 travelweeklyuk


Tanzer reiterates call for cut in APD 72 @travelweeklyuk


, 27 JUNE 2019 3


Watched the BBC’s War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita with my kids. We’re now trying to reduce the amount we use.


FRONTLINE Get Social Thomas Cook, APD, Tui, Thorne Travel 33 AGENT DIARY Kim Kent: Seeing the funny side


CLOSE-UP Week’s best pictures from frontline


YOUR STORIES Fred Olsen Travel’s Angela Jiang


36 39 42


MYSTERY SHOPPER Birmingham agents set Thailand teaser 46


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