SUMMER may be well and truly over but the climate, from an economic perspective, is certainly showing signs of improvement for Northern Ireland’s travel agents, according to one of the province’s leading tour operators.
Belfast-based operator Travel Solutions today revealed that travel agent sales of its wide range of air and coach packages have increased significantly by 22 per cent year on year* and now represent more than a quarter of the company’s overall business
Whilst online booking has been a growing trend for some time, Travel Solutions Managing Director Peter McMinn claims that more and more people are now choosing to book their holidays and short breaks through travel agents and tour operators.
“We are delighted to announce a 22 per cent increase in travel agent sales which is great news for the local travel industry as a whole and shows that travel agents offer a unique service that can be difficult to find anywhere else,” said Mr McMinn.
“Travel agents provide a personal service and point of contact that offers holidaymakers flexibility and convenience as well as a wealth of knowledge and independent advice that they can really trust,” he added.
“Many customers find booking a ‘do it yourself’ holiday online time consuming and often very stressful whilst others who have tried the DIY option have, on occasion, found themselves stranded or out of pocket for a variety of reasons, whether that be the closure of a company, cancellation of a route or even extreme weather conditions.
“By booking a package with an ATOL protected tour operator like Travel Solutions**, holidaymakers will receive full financial protection and ensure that their hard earned money is safe and secure against all eventualities.
“What’s more, in these difficult economic times, customers won’t be surprised by any hidden charges when booking our holiday packages, many of which also include baggage allowance, transfers to and from your destination airport, and the services of a dedicated tour manager to provide assistance during your stay.
“Our latest figures show that people are returning to their local travel agent or booking their holidays with a tried and trusted tour operator whose knowledge and expertise can take the stress out of booking a holiday and assure customers that they will get exactly the kind of holiday they want,” concluded Peter.
Doreen McKenzie, Northern Ireland ABTA*** spokesperson and proprietor of Knock Travel in Belfast and Bangor, welcomed the announcement.
“This is very positive news for travel agents in Northern Ireland who have continued to provide a truly top class service to Northern Ireland holidaymakers in very trying economic conditions,” said Ms McKenzie.
“By consistently going the extra mile for customers, we have been able to compete with the online revolution and build ourselves a large and loyal customer base that continues to generate a high level of repeat business, in fact an increasing level of business in some cases, as evidenced by the latest figures from Travel Solutions,” she added.
“As one of Northern Ireland’s few indigenous tour operators, Travel Solutions is a perfect example of the quality that local companies with local people can offer. Shopping local and supporting local will bring a benefit to all and we’re delighted to play our part in Travel Solutions’ success,” concluded Doreen.
Belfast-based Travel Solutions, established in 1996, carries around 30,000 customers per year.
Working with well established, professional transport and accommodation suppliers, the award winning tour operator offers a wide range of air and coach holidays and short breaks to an ever growing portfolio of destinations and events throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.
For more information on the company’s entire holiday range or to make a booking, holidaymakers should call Travel Solutions on 028 9045 5030, click on www.travel-solutions.co.uk or visit their local travel agent.