Agents should focus on the late market and selling up to help them survive the current tough market.
Speaking at the Association of Independent Tour Operators Specialist Travel Agents conference held last weekend in Warwick Kirker Holiday sales and marketing director Ted Wake said the operator has just enjoyed its best December sales in 22 years of trading, largely thanks to the lates market.
He added: “People are making decisions at the last minute. The late booking market is relatively buoyant for many tour operators and travel agents too.
“We found November a pretty difficult month but bookings were excellent for us in December.”
Wake added further anecdotal evidence is emerging that more consumers are returning to high street travel agents for the increased confidence as opposed to when they book online.
He argued agents could take advantage of this, adding: “You’ve got to sell up. In a recession there will be potentially fewer transactions. You need to make sure you use the opportunity to sell up when the opportunity arises.”
Wake also urged agents to target customers who are celebrating a special event from a wedding anniversary to a landmark birthday as this is when consumers are most likely to splash out.
He added: “How many people in this room will always book the cheapest restaurant for a special celebration?”
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