Delegates at the Barclays Travel Forum in London this week were asked to take part in an interactive survey, giving an instant snapshot of market conditions as we reach the half-way point in 2015.
The outlook was broadly positive, with most of the 200-odd senior business figures saying they expected the travel market to expand this year and next, and that their own companies were growing and are likely to continue to do so.
It was interesting to see which strategies delegates believed would be the most important in growing their business this year and beyond: not doing more or better marketing, nor resorting to more aggressive pricing, and not even acquiring another business or entering a joint venture.
Instead, business chiefs said that improving their product, and improving customer service, were set to be the most significant factors in their growth.
I’ve been chatting to one of the north-west’s fastest growing travel agencies this week, ahead of interviewing them at the Advantage conference in Turkey, and it struck me these were exactly the same factors to which the agency attributes its success.
Polka Dot Travel has grown from one store to three in only 18 months, and not by simply choosing locations where bricks-and-mortar agents are under-represented.
When the high street is reported to be so threatened, it might seem business suicide to launch a new store in a town in north Wales where there are already four well-established agencies in business - and yet Polka Dot Travel has done just that successfully.
The directors of this company are proving that extraordinary customer service and giving the customer 100% honest advice about the quality of the product really are the secrets to growing business in what might appear to be a crowded market.
You can read more of Polka Dot’s inspiring story on page 7 and in next week’s edition, and if you’re heading out to Turkey - see you there!