A new online community for women who love travel is to recruit a network of specialist travel agents to book bespoke itineraries for its consumer travel club.
Girl About Travel – described as ‘TripAdvisor for women in the UK’ – has grown out of a Yorkshire-based lifestyle blog Girl About Yorkshire and has about 25,000 followers on Facebook.
Set up by travel marketer Lyndsey Thomas in 2016, former head of tourism for Aviareps, the brand now has 35 Girl About ambassadors across the UK, sharing reviews, recommendations and experiences in their own local areas.
It has compiled a directory of 50 family-friendly hotels in Europe and aims to compile a UK version.
Its consumer Travel Club is set to launch on September 19 and aims to offer Atol-protected holidays that ‘can’t be Googled’ with tailormade itineraries. It will also offer a variety of destination content, advice and expert views.
Kate Holroyd, owner of Strawberry Holidays, is already working with Thomas on the new club, which aims to help women feel confident booking holidays in a post-Covid travel environment.
Thomas said: “We are looking to have a network of travel agents, like we have our ‘blog squadders’ across the UK. We want to create a travel club that gives women access to travel agents. We will tailor our itineraries to the content we are putting out.”
She added: “We want to grow the agent network to cover all sorts of niches from vegan travel to wellness holidays and special needs travel, and build a network of non-competing specialists to sell travel, inform and inspire.”
As well as agents, Thomas plans to work with specialist tour operators and put together exclusive itineraries for club members. North American Travel Service has already signed up and Thomas plans to bring other specialist operators on board as partners.
“We will look to layer up with different operators, ones we can trust and build up good itineraries for us,” said Thomas, who hopes the club will attract around 2,500 women who already know the brand to sign up.
The club will aim to help women feel confident about booking holidays in a post-Covid environment, particularly following the difficulties recouping refunds.
Thomas said: “This is a one-stop-shop for women to dream it, plan it and book it. This is about a community of women inspiring each other post-Covid; we are trying to create a safe place to take the anxiety away from what has happened.
“We don’t believe that travel and experiences should cost the earth, we will seek out and champion the underdogs; the small, authentic, off the beaten track diamonds that most people, especially the big OTAs won’t shout about, and we will help our community to create a holiday of a lifetime that’s personal to them.”
The club will be password-protected and cost £99 from now until the end of 2021 for consumers to join.
The launch will take place as part of a virtual destination event, Girl About Travel Extravaganza, over September 19-20, on girlabout.co.uk. This will include prize giveaways, live talks and offer a one-week free trial of the new members club.
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