If your customers didn’t need a holiday before, they surely do now after this weekend’s bombshell news.
As the country reeled from Boris Johnson’s decision to place England back into lockdown from Thursday, the travel industry expressed frustration – and anger – at once again being left out in the cold, with zero travel industry consultation or warning the government was going to ban all international travel.
While easyJet Holidays boss Garry Wilson labelled it “disappointing”, and Airlines UK chief Tim Alderslade described it as “a 180-degree reversal of policy, since the government added the Canaries to the travel corridors list just last week”, Advantage chief executive Julia Lo Bue Said went even further: “Travel agents fall into leisure, hospitality, tourism, travel and aviation – that means they fall into the abyss when it comes to recognition for the financial crisis they are in,” she pointed out.
And all this, on the week that Holiday To Help Out begins.
For anyone not familiar with the campaign, its aim is simple: to kick-start the market and drive customers through agents’ doors.
This industry has consistently been let down by the powers that be in Westminster – Holiday To Help Out is a chance for the sector to take matters into its own hands.
If this campaign was important before, it is critical now. At a time when ministers continue to ignore and/or fail to understand the unique financial position of agents and why they need additional support as they now grapple once again with refunds and business closures, the industry’s support for one another remains more vital than ever.
Holiday To Help Out is also a chance for agents to bring some inspiration and cheer to their clients’ lives, as the country braces for four weeks behind closed doors. If people weren’t dreaming of a week escaping in the sun before, they will be by the end of this second lockdown, which suddenly seems far more bleak, taking place in a rainy and grey November, than it did during the warm days of spring in the first lockdown.
It’s also an opportunity to shine some positivity on travel, and numerous agents have contacted TTG to explain how refreshing it is to be able to focus on something constructive and forward-looking.
It’s a point which is ever more pertinent as a shocking TTG survey this week lays brutally bare the mental health crisis now facing the industry.
Almost 90% of the 200 respondents revealed their mental health has deteriorated as a result of the pandemic. Just as worryingly, 70% believe mental health does not receive enough focus or investment within their businesses.
Now more than ever, it is critical the industry remains supportive of one another.
So here’s to a busy and fantastic Holiday To Help Out week, bringing sunshine into your customers’ lives, and enabling agents to get back to doing what they do best – selling dreams.
*Holiday To Help Out runs from today (Monday 2 November) until Sunday 8 November and is open to ALL agents (no registration required). Please visit www.holidaytohelpout.com to view all the operators taking part in the initiative. Click on a logo to view their offer in full.