Gold Medal and Travel 2 are gearing up for peaks with a dedicated sales department for homeworking agents, a revamped rewards programme, an expanded out-of-hours support team and new passenger documentation.
The trade-only operators saw "double- digit percentage growth" in the number of home-based agents they do business with year-on-year, prompting the creation of the team – which is part of a three-year company-wide strategic plan.
Speaking to TTG at the brands’ Agent Recognition Awards, managing director Lisa McAuley said the plan, developed by sales director Nick Hughes, was originally due to launch mid-next year, but had been fast-tracked after Thomas Cook’s failure in September.
"Cook’s demise meant we needed to expedite things – we saw a lot of ex-Cook retail staff, Freedom Travel Group members and PTAs move into new homeworking roles, and we needed to make sure we could give them the support they need.
“I think some tour operators can find homeworkers hard to engage with, so it made sense to shift resources – the new team previously had a majority focus on Cook.”
McAuley said the department would comprise up to three staff. Gold Medal and Travel 2 are holding discussions with homeworking networks on how best to cater for their members.
More widely, Travel 2 is set to relaunch its T2 rewards programme at the end of the month, with the new scheme featuring a “simplified” claims process.
“With any programme you see, engagement levels dip if it’s too complex,” explained McAuley.
Gold Medal, meanwhile, will expand its out-of-hours trade support team with an extra 12 staff.
“Even a 10-second improvement during peaks can make a massive difference.”
Additionally, Gold Medal and Travel 2 will debut revamped passenger documentation by the end of November.
Managing director Lisa McAuley said the change would take place across both print and online, with the "whole look and feel" of the content redesigned.
Meanwhile, Gold Medal has launched a new website, which McAuley told agents had been “long overdue”.
A print and email quote function is among the features that have been added to the site.
“It’s a basic addition but something we didn’t have. It’s fully branded to your business and you [agents] will be the call to action,” said McAuley.
A new Travel 2 website will follow.
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Gold Medal and Travel 2 are trade-only operators providing you with access to over 100,000 hotels, all major airlines, touring, cruise, groups and luxury, all at the most competitive prices in the market.