A marketing campaign focused on attracting bookings for 2021 has been instigated by Travel Counsellors to help its 1,300 UK home working agents prepare for a travel upturn next year.

Dedicated digital training will also be offered to help franchisees make a ‘fresh start’ with their businesses following the challenges of Covid-19.

The initiatives are in response to the firm’s latest customer survey, revealing that consumer confidence to travel is 60% higher for trips due to depart in spring/summer 2021 than for the remainder of this year.

As many as 39% of respondents highlighted “confusion over FCDO advice” as their reason to wait before travelling.

Summer 2021 has been the most popular period for bookings made by Travel Counsellors in the last four weeks.

More than three quarters (80%) of 500 customers surveyed also agreed with the statement that they are more likely to book with a travel agent after the pandemic.

Travel Counsellors UK managing director Kirsten Hughes (pictured) said: “During a challenging period for everyone in travel, it’s vital that we continue to support our business owners with the tools, technology, training support and marketing materials to lay a strong foundation for the ongoing growth of their businesses.

“By taking a medium-term view we can do all we can to make the most of customer desire to book trips for next year, with many customers telling their Travel Counsellor they’re craving something to look forward to.

“In response to the latest customer sentiment and bookings patterns, we’ve also extended our TC ‘Flexible Promise’ beyond March 2021 to include bookings for summer next year, giving our Travel Counsellors further flexibility to rearrange trips for customers impacted by any travel restrictions imposed closer to the date of departure.”

Hughes added: “Whilst ongoing uncertainty surrounding government announcements on travel is having a detrimental impact on consumer confidence, we firmly believe the care, guidance and expertise that trusted travel advisors have been able to show to customers during this time sets the scene for a bright future for caring professionals who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer.

“We are focused on supporting our Travel Counsellors in making the most of every opportunity, building their businesses and coming out of this even stronger.”

The ‘Beyond the Horizon’ marketing push showcases flexible product and experiences for families and couples to look forward to next year.

The ‘Fresh Start’ digital training aims to arm its agents with the tools to build a resilient business in a challenging climate, including in-depth look at Travel Counsellors’ coronavirus travel insurance cover, which offers cancellation cover for a range of Covid-19 issues.

More than 1,000 UK Travel Counsellors have already completed up to 40 digital courses.