A coach tour operator that is to feature in new Channel 4 series Britain’s Secret Shoppers has enjoyed a substantial increase in enquiries and bookings before the documentary has even gone live.
Nottinghamshire-based Skills Holidays, which operates tours in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, has reported a 33% hike in enquiry levels and a 12% rise in sales in January compared with the same month last year.
About 16% of its bookings are made by the trade.
Skills Holidays is now preparing for a surge in website hits after it appears in Britain’s Secret Shoppers on February 28 at 8pm.
Managing director Nigel Skill attributed the increase in consumer interest to changes his company made to its products and marketing that were introduced as a result of the TV programme.
“The presenter was really inspirational and the show was a great motivator for staff. Our attitude was we had nothing to hide,” said Skill, whose grandfather set up the business 94 years ago.
Since filming, from August to November 2012, the company has started to use its heritage in its marketing, adopted ‘cold selling’ techniques and introduced ‘honesty bars’ on coaches where customers are asked to put money in a tin to buy food and drinks on board.
It has also added spa breaks combining a spa trip with shopping at a designer outlet to appeal to younger clients, and overhauled its budget Skills Coach Style brochure.
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