But the business was given a transformative boost three years ago when it devised a new brand, Travalue.ie, which would open it up to a wider, less localised market.
The new brand, and a real focus on digital marketing, has seen the agency amass 22,000 Facebook fans, and an email database of 14,500. And managing director Martin Skelly – who joined the company 40 years ago – and his eight-strong sales team have enjoyed revenue growth of 15-20% every year since its inception.
Recognising that content is king, consultants at Navan Travel don’t just attend educational trips overseas, but write blogs and create video content while they’re away and when they return.
They also excel at spotting gaps in the market, and three years ago set up a new brand, santaholidays.ie, to promote Lapland trips. Incredible attention to detail includes sending every child a personalised “letter from Santa”, sealed with a wax stamp.
A similarly bespoke approach has been taken to Camino de Santiago walking trips, while bridge-playing tours are also performing well.
Despite experiencing such fast growth, Navan Travel continues to deliver exceptional customer service, meaning a 70% repeat business rate. Little touches such as thank you cards, gifts for higher-spending customers, and a payment-plan facility are key to maintaining that, while the introduction of a Facebook group where client feedback from their holidays is shared has created a real community.
From the brightly painted walls of the store to the humorous messages written on the A-frame outside the shop each day, this is a travel agency that likes to have fun. Yet it is entirely serious about training, with regular in-store visits from suppliers and a regimented approach to getting its newest recruits up to speed on destination knowledge.
Nor is being named Ireland’s Top Agency the only accolade the team is currently celebrating: Travalue.ie/Navan Travel was recently named Business of The Year at the Meath Business & Tourism Awards, against big-hitting competitors such as Specsavers and Tayto Park.