But 11 years of solid sales growth later, he’s having the last laugh. His agency group now extends to 15 shops and 80 staff, 10 of whom have been there since day one.
Escorted touring has always been an important part of the Miles Morgan business, but last year the company had a dedicated marketing push on the sector for the first time. Activity included a 32-page brochure sent to 35,000 clients, press adverts in newspapers and magazines, 20 consumer events, a TV campaign, shop window posters and social media activity, all tailored for touring and adventure holidays. Three years ago, touring and adventure was a 5% share of the business; now it makes up 20%.
It’s also helping to drive new business. A post entitled “10 experiences for the person who has done everything”, which showcased escorted tours experiences, delivered 1,200 new unique users to the website.
Staff improve their product knowledge through educational trips, which are often matched to destinations on their bucket list. They even host tours themselves, to get to know clients better, which leads to a higher level of repeat bookings and referrals.
Last year, a new “expert finder” was added to the Miles Morgan website, helping prospective clients find an agent with the best knowledge about the destination they want to visit. This is used by an average of 200 customers a month.
You’d be hard pressed to find a negative Feefo review about the company. Out of 6,000 reviews last year, 5,444 were five-star and 500 four-star. Miles checks them every morning over breakfast and sends a memo to all staff whenever he reads a particularly glowing one.