Jet2holidays is gearing up to launch a new search tool for agents offering complete mix-and-match control over complex enquiries.
Addressing more than 300 independent agents at the operator’s VIP conference in Calpe, Spain, on Tuesday (26 November), Craig Davidson, Jet2holidays general manager trade, revealed the new search functions would debut on the operator’s trade platform by “mid-December”.
Agents will soon be able conduct searches by multiple destinations, multiple departure airports, and different party types and sizes simultaneously, and then filter and sort them by price.
Regional sales manager Lloyd Cross, who joined Davidson and fellow regional sales manager Simon Marshall on stage to present Jet2’s plans to support agents during January peaks, said the new search tool had long been agents’ most requested feature of the operator.
Head of trade Alan Cross told TTG the new system had been eight months in the making and said the complexity lay not in the work required to conduct more complex searches, but in returning results promptly with so many possible permutations.
“It is a multi-base, multi-destination search tool and you can do any party size,” said Cross. “We’ve rebuilt that part of the platform. It was a big thing for us to get it done in time for peaks.”
Cross added he felt the key feature for agents would be the ability to search by party type and size, from solos and couples through to families and larger groups of friends. He also said the development would allow agents to narrow down holiday options more quickly.
The launch of Jet2’s new millennial-focused Vibe brand will also offer greater array of holiday options that will be searchable as a standalone brand.
Marshall, meanwhile, revealed Jet2 had invited a number of agents during the conference to test the new search features to get some industry feedback on the team’s work.
Jet2holidays expects peaks 2020 to be its busiest yet and had expanded its trade sales team to nearly 40 with the addition of 19 “promotional” executives.
The operator is forecasting in excess of 500,000 bookings through agents between January and March. Agents currently constitute 27% of Jet2holidays’ total business.
Davidson said people were more eager than ever to book with professional travel agents. “OTAs are suffering from a lack of identity,” he said. “The sun is setting on DIY holidays, [and] that encourages more package holiday growth.”
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