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Travel companies were looking to capitalise on the hype around ‘Black Friday’ and discount shopping deals this week to generate extra business.
Many joined traditional non-travel retailers with campaigns planned from November 27 to November 30.
Thomas Cook, Thomson, Funway, and G Adventures were among those to run campaigns.
Cook ran a countdown on its website and social media channels, with deals available via shops, call centres and online.
Thomson, First Choice and Thomson Cruises had prepared campaigns online and in store, with a competition offering three holidaymakers the chance to win the total cost of their holiday.
G Adventures was offering 15% off selected holidays and £100 off trips of more than £1,000 booked between 9pm on Thursday and 5am on November 30.
Managing director Brian Young said: “It’s a case of why wouldn’t we get involved? If we get an uptake like last year then we all win, including agents.”
Cruise lines also had initiatives under way. Princess Cruises vice-president Tony Roberts said last year’s four-day campaign proved ?“a huge success for agent partners”.
Carnival Cruise Line planned a 24-hour incentive for the trade, giving agents a £20 Love2shop voucher for every booking, and AmaWaterways planned a prize draw for agents to win hampers.
However, travel marketing experts expressed doubts as to whether Black Friday promotions would succeed.
Gary Grieve, managing director of Capela Training, said: “I have serious doubts whether it will work. The buying process is not the same for holidays as for a TV.”
Industry consultant Richard Carrick added: “The end of November is traditionally a difficult time to sell holidays as people’s minds are more focused towards Christmas and home.”
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