Travel Counsellors is supporting its business owners to prepare for a travel upturn next year, with Summer 2021 being the most popular period for bookings made by Travel Counsellors in the last four weeks.
To support its UK network of Travel Counsellors, which now number over 1,300, the company has launched a marketing campaign focussed on attracting bookings for 2021, together with the roll-out of a dedicated digital training festival aimed at helping franchisees make a ‘fresh start’ with their business following a challenging period for the industry.
Both marketing and training initiatives are in response to findings from the company’s latest customer survey, revealing that consumer confidence to travel is 60% higher for trips due to depart in Spring/Summer 2021 than for the remainder of this year, with 39% of survey respondents highlighting ‘confusion over FCDO advice’ as their reason to wait.
80% of 500 customers surveyed also agreed with the statement that they are more likely to book with a travel agent after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel Counsellors UK MD and CCO, Kirsten Hughes, said, “During a challenging period for everyone in travel, it’s vital that we continue to support our business owners with the tools, technology, training support and marketing materials to lay a strong foundation for the ongoing growth of their businesses. By taking a medium-term view we can do all we can to make the most of customer desire to book trips for next year, with many customers telling their Travel Counsellor they’re craving something to look forward to.
“In response to the latest customer sentiment and bookings patterns, we’ve also extended our TC Flexible Promise beyond March 2021 to include bookings for Summer next year, giving our Travel Counsellors further flexibility to rearrange trips for customers impacted by any travel restrictions imposed closer to the date of departure.”
Alongside the new marketing campaign titled ‘Beyond the Horizon’, which showcases flexible product and experiences for families and couples to look forward to next year, the company launched its ‘Fresh Start’ digital training festival last week, which aims to arm its business owners with the tools to build a resilient business in a challenging climate.
The online training festival includes courses on boosting motivation and mindset, using social media to engage and influence customers, sales masterclasses and spotlights on product for Summer 2021. It also features an in-depth look at Travel Counsellors coronavirus travel insurance cover, which offers cancellation cover for a range of COVID-19 issues.
Over 1,000 UK Travel Counsellors have completed up to 40 digital courses throughout the training festival period, including Manchester based Travel Counsellor Karen Moore.
Karen, who launched her new business just before lockdown in March, said, “I’m trying to do as much as I possibly can to use this time wisely and take advantage of the training support available to me. My mantra is that the more knowledge I have, the better my business will be in the long-run, and the better the booking and travel experiences I can provide for my customers. When I launched my new business, I could never have predicted the challenges this year would bring, but I’m determined to make the very best of all the opportunities ahead.”
Hughes adds: “Whilst ongoing uncertainty surrounding Government announcements on travel is having a detrimental impact on consumer confidence, we firmly believe the care, guidance and expertise that trusted travel advisors have been able to show to customers during this time sets the scene for a bright future for caring professionals who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer. We are focused on supporting our Travel Counsellors in making the most of every opportunity, building their businesses and coming out of this even stronger.”
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