Standing tall on the high street
With a few odd ‘quietish’ days in February, we managed to get a bit of a breather. I love this time of year though, because we get all the interesting tailor-made long haul enquiries that give us the chance to really shine and stand out from the internet. Rarely is any request the same and we can all learn a bit from our research.
Even if the routes are similar, the passenger will be different and that is when we can draw on our personal experiences of different properties.
Being a good and experienced agent doesn’t mean that you’ve visited every hotel in the world, it means knowing exactly who to ask if you haven’t been yourself! Being an independent will always have advantages over the multiples who will struggle to get such advice, simply because they cannot use the destination specialist operators that really know their stuff.
So t A ri d!
After January’s Canada bonanza, we're getting lots of bookings for South Africa. One of the reasons we love the country so much is that it is an easy sell! Every client that has visited in the last two months has been so enthralled that they want to go back. South Africa is too big and diverse to see everything in one or even two trips, so once you have a client hooked you'll have them for years.
I've chatted to agents who have had cancellations due to the water restrictions in Cape Town but I have had only a couple of concerned calls. Once we advised them they were more than happy to go, assured that they would be helping not hindering the locals, since the damage done by lost tourist rands is greater than clients having a shower. And as most people only tend to stay in the affected areas for an average of three nights, the idea of not having new towels every day and a threeminute quick shower instead of a long soak in the bath is hardly a hardship! I've just booked South Africa myself – plus Mozambique – for my husband and I in September. It will be my fourth trip to South Africa but his first, so I'm excited to be showing him what he's been missing.
Se k ye l fi d
There are so many different experiences to be had that the only places I'm repeating are Cape Town and Franschhoek.
Mozambique, however, will be a first for both of us, but I'm keen to explore the islands as a beach extension for South Africa guests as well as a stand-alone beach destination. I've only ever sold a few holidays to Mozambique so it's time to up my game!
Meanwhile, Tanya can’t make her mind up where to go for some winter sunshine and has been jumping all over, from Dubai to Cyprus to the Caribbean! Just as doctors make the worst patients, travel agents surely make the worst holiday customers.
Eve h on
Thanks to the many niche destinations, airlines and cruise companies that gave their time and expertise to support our first Travel Show. It was tricky to stage an event during our busy period, but well worthwhile! It's so important to reach out to the public and build on the success we've had in the two years since we opened. If you want to raise your business profile locally it's worth considering an event. I'm sure that it'll bring more business in and it certainly raises your profile so why not – give it a go!
Just as doctors make the worst patients, agents make the worst holiday customers!
Barbara@Thesussextravelcompany.co.uk 01403 276684