Rugby based travel agent Joanne Webster has reported that 93% of UK customers plan to go on holiday in the next 12 months, according to a recent survey*.
Further to this, the survey revealed that trust is the most important factor for UK consumers when booking their holiday, and that first-hand knowledge of destination and accommodation is the most important source of information when making such decisions.
Joanne, who runs her own home-based travel business as part of the UK’s leading independent travel company Travel Counsellors, highlights recent media coverage of fake reviews that has fuelled concerns over the reliability of online review sites.
Perhaps not surprisingly then, only 23% of people surveyed ranked online ratings and reviews of destinations and hotels as the most important type of feedback.
Instead, 71% value first-hand knowledge from a real travel agent most highly when researching their holiday options.
Joanne said: “Recently BBC’s ‘Rip Off Britain’ uncovered some serious pitfalls to booking holidays online. The programme shared the stories of distraught customers who had lost thousands of pounds by falling victim to a number of scams, highlighting the importance of booking with a trusted travel provider. I genuinely care about my customers and they know they have complete peace of mind when they book with me – I tailor-make holidays for each individual customer, provide 100% financial protection, and go the extra mile to make sure they have my full support should they need me whilst they’re away.”
Joanne believes that growing concerns over the trustworthiness of online sites may have resulted in a shift in the decision-making process: 60% of holiday-makers surveyed ranked ‘booking with someone they can trust’ as the single most important factor, and only 4% ranked ‘getting the cheapest price’ as most important when making travel plans.
A further 24% of those surveyed, placed the most value on having a holiday tailor-made for them according to their specific wants and needs. Personalisation of travel itineraries is a trend that Travel Counsellors, a global award-winning travel company, have been providing expertise in for over 20 years. In addition, having 24/7 assistance was considered most important by 7%, closely followed by being financially protected (6%).
Joanne said: “Customers need to know what is right for them; where is safe to travel; and be reassured that someone who genuinely cares will be there for them every step of the way. The unique level of customer service and complete peace of mind I give to my customers is not something they can get online, and that’s why Travel Counsellors is the world leader when it comes to customer loyalty, with over 96% of its customers stating that they would recommend their trusted Travel Counsellor to their friends and family.”
For more information, or to discuss your forthcoming travel plans, contact Joanne Webster on 01788 298780 or email email@example.com
*Survey completed by 335 UK consumers in January 2016