Travel agents plan more virtual marketing and networking in future

Travel agents say they are likely to hold more virtual events in future to market holidays to clients and to engage with suppliers.

Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, retailers said they needed to adapt their marketing and networking plans to the new environment following the UK lockdown.

MoreTailor Made Travel aiming to open ‘four to six’ shops in early June

The agents made their comments as they announced plans for a phased return to the high-street post-lockdown.

Caroline Donaldson, director of product and commercial, Barrhead Travel, said: “We have been doing a lot of social media and ‘armchair travel’ with our marketing. Can we format that into an online event; why not?

“We need to think about all things virtual because customer engagement will be so important. They want inspiring. Virtual events are something we will look into more.”

Natalie Turner, head of retail, Midcounties Co-operative Travel, said: “We have looked at how we can adapt virtually. We will look to hold some virtually with supplier partners in future.”

Tailor Made Travel chief executive Simon Morgan said agents had to be mindful of consumer sentiment after some of the miniple’s social media promotions met with a backlash from consumers who felt it was not the right time to promote travel during a UK lockdown.

He said: “We have to be respectful of that and wait until the attitude changes. It’s a balance. Bars and restaurants are now opening in Benidorm but we are not allowed to travel there.”

He said his agency would “hold off” hosting any social events until the time was right.

He said: “We have four big social events a year for staff. It’s how long we think this will go on for. I don’t think we are talking two years; I think it’s the next two months. We will hold off doing any big events until we can.”

More at: Tailor Made Travel aiming to open ‘four to six’ shops in early June

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