New National Holidays parent JG Travel Group is hopeful agents will look to build a “sustainable” domestic product portfolio into their business plans as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Sales and marketing director Danny Crowe told TTG that JG had been in contact with agents for whom revenue from selling National’s product accounted for a sizeable proportion of their business.
The company took on former Shearings and Super Break trade lead Claire Dutton earlier this year to help the group identify those agents who had been “delivering” for National under previous ownership.
“Key for us is sustainability of demand from agents,” said Crowe. “We’d like to think, with agents selling more domestic at the moment, they’ll maintain it as an important part of their portfolio long-term.
"If there’s one thing Covid has taught people, it’s that diversification is a way to survival."
Director of product and operations Paul Mason said he felt agents should build sales of secondary breaks into their business plans.
“We recently secured 1,500 seats on the Flying Scotsman for next April,” he added. “It’s a unique product no one else will be selling, great for agents’ windows. That will drive footfall."
The group has placed more than 100,000 seats on sale for 2021, and is working on replicating National’s top sellers while seeking to capitalise on markets new to JG such as family, sport and heritage breaks, all strengths of the National brand.
Mason said this would work in the other direction too, with the group looking to develop other successful group product for National customers – including two new Ireland tours.
He added the group’s primary focus right now was to perfect its domestic lines before expanding its European tour range ahead of the continent reopening.
Mason also said JG would be open to working with agents who have private or ready-made groups wanting a specific trip, or coaches to a particular event. "We can build that sort of thing for them," he said.
Crowe, meanwhile, said he expected the group’s trade team, which spans its National, Just Go! Holidays and Omega Breaks brands, to expand as demand returns.
"The ability to serve agents is massively important," he said, adding the group hadn’t ruled out further acquisitions after picking up National in July following the collapse of Specialist Leisure Group in May.