The Travel Village Group is trialling a new approach to fam trips to help widen knowledge among its agents and boost the return on investment for suppliers.
Phil Nuttall, chief executive of the family-run agency, told a Travel Weekly webcast about the importance of trips to help staff when selling holidays, adding: “We sat down and analysed this…and we are now really making a big effort to give a return on investment to those operators who send us away.”
He said his wife Paula, who runs the firm’s homeworking brand, The Holiday Village, has put the initiative together to see how it works.
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“We are making sure that the people who go away have to have done X amount of bookings, and they have to have completed all the online training,” he said.
“It is only open to people who’ve never been on the product before. You could be a top seller, actually, but you’ve been on the product twice.
“The whole idea is that we actually increase awareness across the business of brands.
“It’s trying to make sure the operators know that we’re trying new ways.”
He said post-pandemic trends mean more clients are seeking more security and guidance from travel.
“We are in a service industry. We have an obligation to guide them, not just in terms of going ‘Yes, yes, yes, we’ll do this, this, this’ but also pushing back and saying, ‘Actually, you can do this, and you can do that’,” he explained.
“The world has expanded in terms of travel…experience from travel agents is really important.
“We need to make sure that [staff] are doing their [fam trip] reports, doing their blogs, doing their social.”
He said Paula has taken on a new employee who is helping homeworkers with social media and marketing.
“That’s incredibly important. And the same applies to retail – people have to take ownership of social media and any events that we do,” he added.
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Lo Bue-Said and Nuttall receive Outstanding Contribution honours at AAAs