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QR-coded window posters take-up by agents ‘phenomenal’

The development of travel agency window posters featuring QR codes has had a “phenomenal” reaction from the trade within weeks of its launch.

Travel Marketing Systems, the company behind the system, said 1,973 window posters were printed for shop windows in the month of October following its launch in September. This compares with 319 for October a year ago, an increase of 518%.

Company founder Steve Rushton attributed the increase down to the addition of QR codes to posters which allows passers-by to scan the codes on the posters in travel agency windows on their mobile phones to make a holiday enquiry. Once scanned, clients are directed to the corresponding page on the agency’s website with full details of the holiday offer and how to make an enquiry.

He said: “We can only put down the level [of posters printed] to QR codes and agents realising this is a great way to funnel customers to their website as each offer creates a unique landing page with enquiry form.”

He added that “many more” agents had been in touch to ask about acquiring the company’s digital screens, which also feature QR codes which passers-by can scan and enquire about holidays even if the shop is closed.

The QR-coded promotional materials are part of an update to the company’s TMS Marketing Manager software for agents, formerly known as Latecards, and were touted as a ‘game changer’ for the trade.

Access to Marketing Manager is up by 66% year on year, with the system accessed by agents 2,752 times in October this year versus 1,653 in October last year. Tracked social postings are up by 66%.

Rushton predicted a “golden age” for travel agents as a result of more holidaymakers needing help on their travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic and said he had already also noticed an increase in tour operators viewing agents as “relevant sales channels”.

He said: “One thing is for sure, the high street is not dead, there is a place for high-street agents just as much as there is for homeworkers and remote working agencies.

“Complicated holidays are still difficult to book online without talking to someone and look set to remain that way for the foreseeable future. In many ways, I can see the next five years as being another golden age for agents.”

Meanwhile, the company said it was working with touring and adventure aggregator TourHound to produce marketing assets for social posts, posters, email templates and digital screens for operators including Newmarket Holidays, G Adventures, Explore and Leger.

These would be accessible to agencies with TourHound installed on their company website and agents would be able to create marketing assets in the TMS Marketing Manager system.

A similar system is being planned with cruise technology specialist Widgety to enable agents to create marketing assets for cruises.

The company hopes to have the new content available for January 2022, with free trials currently taking place.

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