Local travel agents flying high
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.