TTG Top 50

Fresh Thinking Award – Fly Away Travel

This special award recognises a travel agency that has demonstrated an innovative approach to building their business in the last 12 months

Fly Away Ballina

Fly Away Travel is a successful high street agency in Ballina, County Mayo, in western Ireland, launched in 2008 by Pamela Brownlee.

 

Brownlee and her team of five already sold a considerable amount of cruise but sensed their lack of a cruise-specific brand was holding them back from achieving more.

 

So in March 2016, Brownlee devised a new sister-brand, Cruises For You, along with a new website and a new Facebook brand page.

 

“I thought very carefully about the name,” Brownlee explains. “In cruise, it’s so important to match clients with the right cruise for them, and Cruises For You conveys the idea of us tailoring it to your specific needs.”

 

Judges were impressed by the clever way Brownlee leveraged the launch to generate a huge amount of exposure for the agency, inviting a local radio station to her store on the day of launch.

 

Mid West sent an outside broadcast vehicle to Ballina and broadcast its two-hour lunchtime programme – which has an audience of around 120,000 people - live from the Fly Away store.

 

The day-long launch party also included branded cupcakes, and a competition to win a cruise, which proved incredibly successful.

 

In the two weeks leading up to the launch day, and while the radio broadcast was being aired, the agency managed to accumulate more than 1,500 competition entries, the names from which it can now add to its database.

 

Customers can call Cruises for You on a separate phone line and Brownlee hopes to ultimately employ a home-based cruise expert as well.

 

“For now, I really want us to become the best-known cruise specialist in the north west, but maybe in five or ten years the brand could be national,” she adds.

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