In response to the Letter of the Week (Travel Weekly August 2) it was interesting to read the comments from Nicky, Chris and Neale from The Travel Shop about educationals.
It never ceases to amaze me, on most educationals I have been on, how many counter clerk staff,managers and directors treat them as holidays.
They moan about early starts from airports or departure, they moan about the heat when they get there. They moan about the amount of hotels they have to visit, they ask if the itinerary can be changed so they can lie by the swimming pool in themornings, just in case the weather changes and think the best time for hotel inspections is when it rains.
One recent educational, where free time was allowed to be taken as either parascending or a round of golf with transport included, had a slight hitch, the driver had been given the day off. The escort of the group rearranged transport, the driver gave up his day off and returned to pick everybody up. But within 30mins of this, the rest of the group had all disappeared to the beach to sunbathe.
Our staff have put together a portfolio of their visit, using photographs of hotels, rooms and excursions, postcards, menus and asked people on holiday for their views of the destination and the hotels. This really helps us to sell for the company or organisation that has kindly asked us to participate.
I took over 200 photographs on the last educational, obviously the other agents didn't own cameras or didn't know how to use them, as not one of them took any photographs. On 90% of educational trips, this always seems to be the case.
Perhaps in answer to Nicky,Chris and Neale's observations that too few actual young sales staff are not invited on educational visits is because most companies have found this certainly isn't the case.
An educational is certainly not a holiday and the sooner agency staff work harder on those trips, they might start receiving more invitations.
Lee Harrison, managing director, Select World Travel, Great Malvern, Worcestershire
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