Update from the Director, 2016

Well once again we are nearing the end of a year, and it seems that every year goes quicker and quicker in the world of travel. 2016 has been a year that has gone down in history and it will continue to change many people’s lives for years to come. We have had some major historic events, such as the Queen’s 90th birthday, the decision for the UK to leave the EU and then Donald Trump being elected as USA president – WOW, what a year! Worldwide disasters such as the Nice terror attack in July and the Orlando shootings; despite all of this, the Holiday With Us Group has remained strong and has seen great growth in 2016 and we would like to thank our new and existing clients for their continued support. As an Independent Agent, we rely on client loyalty as this allows us to grow.

So what has happened for the Holiday With Us Group in 2016? Where do we start?!

We are delighted to have opened the doors of our new Spalding Travel Branch this month; we managed to purchase the historic Dryden’s building within the Spalding Market Place and have spent twelve months giving this building a complete make-over and a new lease of life. The doors opened on the 16th December with a Celebrity Appearance on the 19th December. We also are offering a chance to win £1000 of Thomas Cook Vouchers to celebrate the move of Spalding Travel – visit www.holidaywithus.co.uk/GoldenTicket for more information.

This year we have invested heavily in staff training by giving all staff as much in-depth product training with our key suppliers as possible, allowing us to educate staff on a wide variety destinations. This has enhanced their knowledge, a crucial component of our business as we require all our staff to be complete travel professionals and experts on our products and destinations.

We are proud that Lauren Kirby in our Wisbech Office and Florence Plumb in our March office have just completed the Australian Travel Specialist program. This allows the Holiday With Us Group to be able to be recognised as a preferred Travel Agent for Australia and recommended by the Australian Tourist Board.

Staff have also experienced some amazing educational trips abroad to improve their knowledge and experience. They have joined up with some of our key suppliers and travelled to Dubai, France, Disneyland Paris, Cyprus, Bulgaria and the CLIA Conference in Southampton where they enjoyed time on board Royal Caribbean’s Harmony Of The Seas, P&O’s Ventura and the MSC Splendida.

We have also employed two wonderful young trainees, Rosie Battson based in our Wisbech office and Erin Lakey based in our March Office; both ladies joined our teams in September and this is their first time in Travel. They are currently learning the industry and undergoing intensive training and we are delighted to have them on board.

This year we introduced a few exciting initiatives for our clients to return to u; Recommend a Friend is to reward and recognise those clients who recommend us to their friends, work colleagues and families – visit www.holidaywithus.co.uk/recommend-a-friend to find out more.  We also Introduced our happy to help live chat tool, our Gift Card for Weddings and Honeymoons and our new website for Wed With Us, at www.wedwithus.co.uk where you can find exclusive wedding venues around the world that have been handpicked by us to offer unique venues, creating your perfect experience on the most special day of your life.

We have plenty more in the pipelines for 2017 as we don’t like to stand still. Here’s just a sneak peak of what we have lined up…

We have constructed a new Luxury Lounge, offering something different for discerning travellers; this opens in February at the new Spalding office and its new website will be launched in spring.

The Luxury Lounge is an exclusive area that offers privacy and comfort to discuss your future travel needs. This lounge will offer a premium service to our clients, providing a personal to your individual requirements in the process of creating your perfect itinerary. We will be working closely with some of the industry’s leading Luxury Travel Operators to offer their finest products. We will also regularly receive special offers from the operators and will be making every effort to host client presentation evenings, complimented with champagne, canapés and exclusive savings that we can pass on to our clients.

We are proud to be one of the leaders in our region for organising travel, and to enhance this we will be rolling out new technology in our stores that will allow us to be able to build a profile of each of our clients to build up a portfolio of travel likes, dislikes and requirements. This will allow us to further improve our customer service and to tailor make packages that suit your needs as closely as possible.

We will also be doing some charity events in 2017 in support of ‘A Local Wish’. This Charity was founded by Nikki Bantoft at Bantoft & Co accountancy alongside myself. We have a total of £5000 already raised and would like to raise a further £5000 over the year of 2017.  This Charity supports local communities with projects or individuals in need of our support.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing you all again in 2017.





Christina Purcell is managing director of the Holiday With Us Group.