Baldwins Travel in Tunbridge Wells has featured in the TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies since the initiative launched in 2016 and it’s easy to see why.
Located in the centre of the Kent town, Baldwins’ largest and top-performing store boasts an eight-strong sales team of passionate, experienced consultants brimming with expertise, led by eminently capable manager Kim Lacey.
Cruise has been the name of the game for Baldwins’ flagship branch in the past year, with sales up 10% thanks to a number of new events and training sessions.
One such gathering in November, an event tailored towards specialist lines featuring Hurtigruten, Star Clippers and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Line, attracted more than 40 attendees and five bookings.
The team has also expanded the invite list for its garden party, opening it up not just to established VIPs but new customers with lots of potential.
As a result, revenue for 2018 sat at an impressive £5 million.
Despite its well-established line-up, Tunbridge Wells has made a conscious effort to attract new blood, with trainee Katie joining last February and new deputy manager Charles coming onboard in April 2018 and promoted in December.
Kim has also kick-started a partnership with West Kent College to help travel and tourism students with their interview technique.
There’s also been fresh ideas on the technology front, with the team adopting a new back office system to make quoting slicker, and using video blogs to make reporting back from educational trips more vivid and bring their travels to life for fellow staff within the group.
Just taking a look inside Kim’s bulging book of thank you letters, postcards and post-trip emails is testament to the standards of the Tunbridge Wells staff.
Over the past 12 months, there have been a number of prime examples, from a sensitively organised beach dinner for a grieving family to an hour round-trip to deliver tickets to a customer’s home.
Matthew even managed to secure regular customers a free cruise after their chosen cabin had been downgraded and they were only offered a 50% discount.
No wonder the store has enjoyed a repeat booking rate of more than 80% over the past two years.