Listen and respond to feedback, says Travelsphere managing director Alastair Campbell

In the crowded market that is the world of travel, we need to stand together and get a clear message out about the advantages of travelling with an escorted touring operator.

With everything going on in the political spectrum, it will become increasingly competitive in the battle to gain customers. It is at times like this that we need to speak with one voice and support the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas).

Atas has been doing a fantastic job of educating the travel trade, and this will continue to grow, largely thanks to events such as the Atas Conference taking place in Manchester. We have the travel trade in one place, and we need to work hard to get our messages across.

Though saying that, once we have their attention, we need to be selling in our very own USPs and ensuring that their customers are going on a holiday that is right for them.

In the build-up to Travelsphere’s September brochure launch, we held extensive customer focus sessions to ensure that what we are providing the perfect holiday. Customers quite rightly need to feel that a holiday has been built around their feedback.

Travelsphere has made many changes in the last two years to its escorted touring holidays based on customer feedback; namely Guaranteed Departures, Price Promises and Price Guarantees.

The most significant of all the changes is the one just announced, as of April 2020, every Travelsphere touring holiday will have a maximum group size of 35 people. The only exceptions to this are ‘special tours’ such as Oberammergau and specific Festive holidays.

This change was made as a direct result of customer feedback.  Our customers are seeking even more experiential holidays and in more adventurous destinations.  Already many Travelsphere holidays have a maximum group sizes of between 15 – 30 customers.  This new initiative has set an absolute maximum of 35 customers, as we seek to ensure the ‘perfect group size’ for every holiday based on destination, the style of trip and the itinerary itself.

Our research shows on smaller-group tours our customers can immerse themselves even more in the experiences around them, which is what a Travelsphere tour is all about. So really it’s about ‘Bigger Experiences’ from delivering smaller group sizes ‘perfect’ for each holiday.

With over 50 years of expertise in the escorted touring world, Travelsphere has always listened to its customers. With our Free Private Chauffeur Airport Transfers on all our long-haul holidays we are once again leading the way. What makes our transfers unique is that our customers will never have to share with anyone else, it is a private, door-to-door service in a luxury car. So no multiple stops or detours to collect other customers, it’s straight to departures to check-in and relax.

Travelsphere’s existing Rock-Solid Guarantees are still going strong, and when we introduced them to the market, they were game-changers and remain popular with our customers and trade partners alike.

Our customers like flexibility, so earlier in the year we introduced Travelsphere’s Make Your Own Way, here customers have the option to book their own flights and transfers and meet at the first hotel.

In the travel industry we all need to remain flexible and move quickly according to customer demands, research and market conditions. This is where Atas really comes in to its own, compiling the research and sharing it within working groups helps us all to meet the expectations of customers and our travel partners.