Having opened his store in May 1972 in a prime high street location in Navan, owner Martin Skelly decided to rebrand to appeal to a wider audience five years ago.
Store manager Katrina came up with the name Travalue, and now the team here serves the whole of Ireland.
It’s just one example of the creativity at this welcoming store with Katrina, in particular, a veritable ideas factory.
From an A-frame board outside that is regularly updated with a cheeky message, to converting an old junk room into a new “Stopover Lounge” space for staff to go to relax on their breaks – there’s always a plan afoot.
Other new initiatives include a “Gift Ideas” tab added to the website before Christmas so customers could buy presents such as city breaks or sports packages via the agency.
New recruit Aisling looks after all the admin jobs such as sending out thank you cards and the agency’s own smart ticket wallets so sales staff have more time to help with customer enquiries and focus on delivering excellent service.
It is clearly appreciated by the 80% of customers who repeatedly book with them.
Also much appreciated are the personalised letters, complete with headed paper and wax seal, that the team sends out on behalf of Santa to customers booking via Travalue’s santaholidays.ie brand.
Feedback is taken seriously by the agency with a survey sent out to every customer, while the Travalue Views Facebook page is a useful resource – almost like the agency’s own TripAdvisor – featuring both staff and customer reviews of trips they have been on.
Instagram Stories has also taken off for the agency, which has about 1,000 followers, with the team’s regular posts often mentioned by locals when they are out and about.
The team is keen to host customers regularly, including in-store cruise evenings and a holiday show last year. It’s clear Travalue is passionate about supporting the local community where possible, too, whether it’s sponsoring local teams or putting up a prize for the council-run family treasure hunt.