Readers' lives: Tom Pestridge

Readers' lives: Tom Pestridge

Q. Why did you relaunch the Honeymoon Dreams website in March this year?
A.
Our previous website was only a few years old and had been well received and nominated for best agency website at the Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards. But we had so many ideas we wanted to include that we felt the need to start again so we could evolve and provide the best experience for visitors.

Q. How has the site changed?
A.
Our in-house content team provides much more in-depth detail about each resort and destination along with tips and inspiration. We looked at dozens of sites to perfect this, from similar travel websites to other industries, like the Mercedes car building website. Our site now enables clients to hop around the world choosing destinations and hotels to see what combines best.

Q. Were you surprised to get a call 
from ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway 
to gift a honeymoon to a couple who got married live on TV?
A.
The call did come out of the blue, a month after launching the new website, and we only had a few days to turn it around. Fortunately, as a smaller company, the decision came down 
to our director and myself so we were able to act quickly.

Q. What impact did the TV coverage have on business?
A.
They get up to eight million viewers each week so to have a spot at the end of it at prime time on Saturday is the sort of coverage we wouldn’t normally have thought possible. It has accelerated our rise in revenue, bookings and staff over the past year. The number of people using our site has increased by 40% this year and enquiries are 
up 20%. Over the past few months we have taken 
on more marketing and sales staff and we're recruiting for 
a number of roles.

Q. Why did ITV choose your business?
A.
We had previously provided several honeymoon prizes for a show on ITV2 in 2014 but it was because one of their producers had booked their honeymoon with us! We were up against a few other companies but they said they liked us as we had the word ‘honeymoon’ in our name. We have since had contact with ITV about working with them on a new programme and provided a holiday prize for another company.

Q. Why did you set up a honeymoon concierge team?
A.
Our Honeymoon Concierge team is an extension of our after-sales team. Once our clients have booked, our concierge team send out everything they need along with a few extras to make sure their honeymoon is extra special.

Q. Any other plans in the pipeline?
A.
Over the past year or so we 
have been developing a reservation and back-office management platform that is going to revolutionise the way we work. The cloud-based online platform will allow us to manage all our enquiries, quotes, bookings, accounting, reporting and office systems in one place. We are very excited about this and providing a white‑label solution for other travel companies in the new year.


Remarket: Spend your time and money on re-engaging those that have already visited your site.
Personalise: It is essential to tailor your proposition for each web visitor based on their activity.
Tell a story visually: Integrate video wherever possible as it has the ability to captivate.

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