Atlantic Travel has been in the Donegal town of Letterkenny for 27 years, but three years ago the owner’s daughter, Emma McHugh, was drafted in to give the business some TLC.
Having won TTG and Royal Caribbean’s store makeover competition in 2017, the shop is now bright, fresh and modern with vibrant lightbox images that, along with navy and fuchsia uniforms, give a welcoming overall feel.
Despite being fairly new to the travel industry herself, Emma is supported by an experienced team. Moya and Mary have been with the store since it first opened and Caroline joined a year later.
More recently, cruise expert Donna joined the agency and helped train all staff to sell the product, meaning the team could serve the local demand for it. They regularly travel to Dublin for ship visits to ensure their fingers are always on the pulse.
The past year has seen the agency put a real focus on personalisation with cards for customers to give as gifts made up during the Christmas period, and honeymooners receiving personalised cards too.
Atlantic’s team will also get in touch with hotels to make sure customers’ experiences are as smooth as possible – such as organising breakfast bags for early departures to the airport.
In one case, a client had booked their first family holiday with three young children who all became ill just before departure. Emma tried to reschedule for a few days later but the hotel was full. She called a contact and arranged a new hotel and even persuaded them to bring in a member of kids’ club staff to look after the three-year-old, despite it being out of season and the kids’ club being closed.
Social media has been a focus for Emma and she’s begun receiving enquiries via Facebook and made some bookings entirely via the social media channel, making it easier still for some customers.
Along with an increasing presence in the local community via activities such as giving away vouchers as prizes for table quizzes, sponsoring local sports teams and hosting client evenings, Atlantic Travel is making a name for itself as the place for Donegal’s holidaymakers to book their breaks.