Travel Counsellors’ clients want to hear real-life travel experiences before making a booking this year, says the homeworking group.
The company’s latest survey found that 70% of would-be travellers seek reassurance in advance of their journey, saying video footage from fellow travellers, airlines and accommodation providers would offer peace of mind as restrictions ease in destinations.
A new Travel Counsellors marketing campaign reflects this trend, as well as other feedback from the research.
The survey showed that more than 60% want clarification about health and safety measures throughout the journey, and nearly half want to know more about what to expect at the airport.
Jim Eastwood, Travel Counsellors global sales director, said: “Understandably travellers are seeking routes to reassurance as the world opens up for travel.
“With enhanced hygiene measures being broadly similar in destinations across the globe…we’ve seen a real customer desire to feel fully prepared for every step, and leaning on the support of a trusted travel expert in forming their plans to travel.”
Nearly 60% of the 400 survey respondents were ‘optimistic’ about booking a holiday to depart this year or next.
Customers cited ‘privacy’ as their priority, followed by ‘pool suites’ and villa holidays enabling social distancing.
Travel Counsellors’ ‘summer saviours’ campaign highlights upmarket private options and new properties where the customers can be among the first guests.
The campaign also highlights self-drive options in the UK and Europe, as well as breaks that bring families to the ‘great outdoors’ and closer to nature.
Travel Counsellors reported that there were twice as many domestic bookings in July, compared to June.
Eastwood said: “The role of a real, human, caring travel professional has never felt more important in supporting people as they take to the roads, rails and skies again.
“We can say that through adversity comes opportunity, and after a difficult time for many people we believe a well-deserved holiday now has the power to turn their year around.
“By regularly commissioning customer research and creating tailored campaigns based on customer feedback, we’re putting every effort into supporting our business owners in bouncing back.”
To support agents creating their own video and social media content, Travel Counsellors is partnering with photographer and blogger Tia Talula to stage an Instagram masterclass this month.
She is sharing tips and training about how social media can help a small business.