JG Travel Group

Matthew Herbert, JG Travel Group, on the power of staycations

As the popularity of staycations doesn’t seem to be slowing down, Matthew Herbert, sales and yield director at The JG Travel Group, offers travel agents a host of tips on selling domestic holidays to their clients.

I don't know about you, but I’m delighted by the news that overseas travel is to become a little easier, with quarantine on return from amber countries to be removed for those who are double vaccinated and children under 18. Whilst this is a very positive step forward and will give international travel the boost it so very needs, many customers have already taken the decision to holiday in the UK this year. 

Before the pandemic, it could be argued that many people booked their UK breaks or holidays independently and didn’t perhaps think of using a travel agent. However, the last year has shown us just how quickly things change – local restrictions can be put in place, or new testing procedures added and traffic light systems introduced. Providing knowledgeable advice, expertise and support for holiday bookings has never been more important, and this includes when making domestic sales. 

I have been so impressed over the last year by travel companies pivoting, adapting and doing all they can to ensure agents have product to sell. From new UK programmes created in a matter of weeks, to round-the-UK cruising and additional product choices added – we as an industry should be so proud of ourselves and all that we have achieved. 

There has been a lot written about how holidays in the UK are sold out this summer, due to the sheer popularity of staycations. As a group tour operator, specialising in UK breaks we, like so many other companies in our sector, have worked tirelessly to ensure that we are continually adding additional capacity and new products to meet the ongoing increase in demand. The UK has so much to offer and so many experiences available, many of which customers may simply not be aware of. 

As an agent, there are some key tactics which can be used to ensure you are doing everything possible to maximise domestic sales. 

Firstly, consider all the events that are going on that could provide customers with a reason to travel. Many operators offer packages that focus on experiences – through The JG Travel Group brands we offer everything from seeing Andre Rieu live in concert to taking the family on a polar express train at Christmas. There is a big variety of experiences and excursions on offer. If customers really want to enjoy a special experience and live a little further away from it, booking an organised package can be a great, value for money solution. 

Agents always need to think ahead – Many people missed out on being with their families and loved ones last Christmas and are looking to make up for it this year. Christmas may seem a long way off, but some products have already sold out or are close to selling out, so turn your attention to festive breaks now. 

Remember to upskill your staff if you run a travel business– if agents are unfamiliar with selling holidays in the UK then it is important to ensure they have all the right product and geographical knowledge. Ensure that they definitely do know the top 10 attractions in the UK, the top London shows currently open or where the best beaches are in the UK. 

And finally, if you’re not doing it already, shout about the UK – on social, in windows, in mailers or in whatever way you can. Customers plans are changing all the time and you might catch their attention and inspire them to book. After all, we all need something to look forward to, right? 

www.justgoholidays.com


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