Jet2holidays creates bespoke billboard with independent agent

Independent agents have been urged to contact Jet2holidays about drawing-up joint marketing plans after a billboard the operator designed in partnership with an agent was put up in Cheshire.

Richard Slater, owner of Macclesfield-based Henbury Travel and northwest chair of Abta, believes up to 20,000 people will pass the new billboard every day.

The billboard, which went up this week, has Jet2holidays’ branding and Henbury Travel’s contact details on it. It will remain in place for four weeks.

Slater said he decided to contact the operator after noticing how Jet2holidays is the “hot name in holidays right now” and that the operator’s sales via agents are increasing.

He initially became aware of the possibility of working with Jet2holidays after watching a Travel Weekly webcast last year, in which chief executive Steve Heapy called on the trade to be “proactive”.

Slater said: “My agency is a small agency with small budgets, but I’ve got to speculate to accumulate, so I approached Jet2 to see if they would sponsor the billboard I take every year.

“It’s at a major roundabout junction in Macclesfield with four exits, but it’s only a small roundabout so the flow is slow, and people get a lot of viewing time, so they can read the message.

“It sends out the message that we’re a Jet2 agent.”

Jet2holidays’ chief executive Steve Heapy praised Slater for the “big noticeboard on the roundabout” during a webcast with Travel Weekly this week.

He said: “We’re happy to support any travel agent because we want to help them to bring business to their shops as well.”

Alan Cross, Jet2holidays’ head of trade, added: “If it’s someone with one shop or 100 shops we’ll give them the support to market the brands together.

“Agents can contact us if they have joint marketing activity that they would like us to invest in.”

Cross said the billboard’s main purpose was to attract new customers to Henbury Travel.

Heapy said: “I’ve said for a long time, the government needs to work on a town centre regeneration strategy…and breathe some life back into it.”

And he stressed: “The travel agent model is by no means over. I think it’s got a very, very bright future. It just might be slightly different.”

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