BOOKINGS BOOM THANKS TO ‘SAVVY TRAVELLERS’
Monday, 27 February 2017
Barrhead Travel has started 2017 on a high with a surge in holiday bookings.
The leading independent travel group reported a 20 per cent increase during the first six weeks of the year, compared with the same period last year.
The company said the rise was down to “savvy holidaymakers” on the hunt for early value-for-money offers.
Sharon Munro, Chief Executive of Barrhead Travel, said: “We saw a strong year-end performance in 2016 when bookings increased during what is traditionally a quieter period in the industry, and we are delighted to continue this trend into 2017.
“We anticipate continued growth over the coming months through a mix of loyal customers returning to book with us, as well as new customers who are turning to our reliable and trusted brand.”
There remains growing demand for longhaul and cruise destinations – Thailand has seen the largest increase (up 150%) followed by Dubai (up 132%), New York (up 44%) and Vancouver (up 24%). Bookings for destinations including Kerala in India (the location of TV’s The Real Marigold Hotel) and Japan are also on the up.
Barrhead Travel revealed there has been a significant upswing in family holiday bookings, with a 25 per cent climb in bookings for traditional summer sun holidays, with locations like the Costa Brava regaining popularity.
Sharon Munro says the unveiling of the company’s training academy in 2016 has also helped fuel the rise and says the company has ambitious plans for the coming year.
She explained: “The academy has helped us further strengthen and build the knowledge and expertise of our specialists and much of our success over the past few months can be directly attributed to enhanced training opportunities.
“Moving forward into 2017 we have a strong growth strategy – we have earmarked 12 UK locations as part of this strategy and also have a fresh recruitment drive planned.”
NOTES TO EDITOR
About Barrhead Travel:
Founded in 1975 by an ex-bank worker, Bill Munro, and operating from an unremarkable shop in the south Glasgow suburb of Barrhead with just one member of staff and a YTS, Barrhead Travel's first steps in the travel business were tentative and small. But fast-forward and the company has grown into a multi-faceted travel giant with 850 staff in 56 locations – and is one of the largest and most successful travel agencies in the UK.
In 2002, Barrhead Travel opened the first city centre travel superstore in the UK, right in the heart of Glasgow. One of the largest travel agencies in Europe, it was also the first “experience” store in Scotland. In 2012 the company opened a 100-seat contact centre in Cumbria.
Barrhead Travel has expanded from a traditional ‘bucket and spade’ travel agent to a multi-faceted travel group chartering its own flights, offering bespoke holidays to all corners of the globe, running an in-house training facility, employing specialist consultants providing expert advice in areas such as long haul, cruise and ski holidays and promoting youth employment through its apprenticeship scheme.
The company has won many awards over the years, including Top UK Travel Agency and Best Travel Agency in Scotland for 12 years running and was awarded a position in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100. Barrhead Travel was also named Employer of the Year at the Scottish Business Awards in 2012 and has been recognised as one of the Best Companies to Work For for the last five years.
The firm successfully completed the acquisition of UK-based cruise agency ‘The Holiday Specialists’ in December 2012, a deal worth in the region of £3 million. In addition the company launched its first trade-focused sub-brand, Brilliant Travel in August 2013. The new brand will oversee expansion of its managed service branches, home-based travel advisors and corporate partnerships.