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Social media drives new bookings during lockdown at Co-operative Travel

The Personal Travel Agents at Co-operative Travel is reporting a significant rise in new holiday bookings, especially generated via social media.

The past four weeks have seen social media take the highest share of bookings for the first time in the homeworking business’ eight-year history.

Last week (week ending May 16), 57% of all bookings made by agents from the homeworking division of Midcounties co-operative were from new enquiries. These bookings were not re-books of cancelled or postponed travels, but entirely new holiday enquiries. This figure has remained over 50% for the past four weeks.

The Personal Travel Agents at Co-operative Travel has reported that social media took the highest share of bookings for the first time ever, for four consecutive weeks, with Facebook proving to be the most popular channel by far. In week ending April 26 2020, social media took the highest share of new bookings for the first time ever at 42%, before steadily increasing over the past four weeks to 50%.

Sheena Whittle, head of personal travel agents at Co-operative Travel, said: “We’re reinforcing to our agents that they should balance caring for their customers who need re-booking with keeping their advertising going to find new customers.”

“We’re aware that many of our customers are taking a hit financially at the moment and we need to be sensitive to that when we engage with them on social media, but there does seem to be an appetite for holiday deals as customers dream of their post-lockdown adventures.”

During this quieter period for new enquiries, The Personal Travel Agents at Co-operative Travel has been encouraging agents to prepare them for the upturn in sales again. The #BusinessSpringClean tool kit of tasks includes refreshing information on website pages, a sweep of their customer database, refreshing plans for local marketing activity and social media training, such as using Facebook Stories and Lives for marketing purposes.

Its management team is also keeping agents well-connected via their virtual office. There is also a strong focus on well-being support and advice via a new central online resource that houses all agent-relevant information on the COVID-19 crisis. 

Image Credit: Stock Catalog/Flickr

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