Travel agents travelled from across the country to attend one of the first in-person trade networking and training days since the start of the pandemic.
In total, 73 agents were hosted in London at three separate sessions by suppliers promoting the Canary Islands.
Hotels including H10 Hotels, Palladium Hotel Group, Spring Hotels Group, Hotel Jardin Tecina, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Botanico and the Oriental Spa Garden, and attractions Loro Parque Animal Embassy, Poema del Mar aquarium and Siam Park water park joined forces to run the event for the trade.
Organisers said the event was a success. Lawrence Peachey, UK and Ireland representative for Hotel Jardin Tecina, said: “All the agents that attended said how much they enjoyed the day. A few agents said it had been their first time on a train for 15 months.
“We were impressed by the fact some agents had travelled all the way from Liverpool, Blackpool, Peterborough and Southampton to attend and there was a lot of positivity on Facebook from agents who attended.”
Shane Mallon, manager, Capricorn Travel, who attended the event, said: “It’s great to see training back in the flesh. You cannot beat face to face events.”
The Canary Islands are among the destinations exempt from Foreign Office advice against all non-essential travel but remain on the government’s amber traffic light list, meaning packages to the islands can operate but holidaymakers returning to the UK must self-isolate at home for 10 days.
Mallon said the recent removal of Portugal from the green list had “seriously dented consumer confidence in travel”, adding: “Hopefully travel will receive more support [from government]. We are a retail office on a busy parade which has obviously been affected [by the pandemic]. Footfall on the street is excellent but we are not seeing any benefits or bookings this year.
“Many regular clients have been in touch, they would like to travel but will not risk it due to extra costs and the possibility of needing to quarantine on return.”
Travel Counsellor May Swan-Easton and Joanna Chiu, founder, Wellness Holiday Boutique, both said they enjoyed finally being able to attend an in-person training event. Easton said: “It was great to see my travel colleagues after so long.”