Updated: Jul 2
With our previous Survive and Revive session covering the industry’s turn towards domestic travel, this time, Richard sits down with Jes Lillis from AAT Kings to gain insight into how the Australia and New Zealand focused company is preparing for the comeback. We find out the firsthand impact of the crisis on AAT Kings, potential new strategies and directions to be thinking about right now, and we even get a few of Jes’ lockdown hacks to help keep that healthy balance between work and play.
· Travel corporation which provides a range of tours throughout Australia and New Zealand. The company also includes a high-end product, Inspiring Journeys, which incorporates small group travel based on immersive experiences.
· During lockdown, employees are working from home 3-5 days a week and some on rotating rosters.
· Keeping momentum going by communicating with clients and co-workers consistently and helping other departments.
· Moving forward with the anticipation of a boom for domestic, with the tools ready to go to ensure their team are confident in selling domestic.
· A great starting point for agents is discovering what type of domestic they’re comfortable with and passionate about.
· There is also the opportunity to allow clients to dictate the conversation and guide the direction of demand.
· Ask questions; what are the bucket list destinations? Often domestic travel is something clients will get to eventually, but now is the time to capitalise on this interest.
· AAT kings understand that coach travel will be different after lockdown. The team have been using role play situations to look at a range of scenarios which would meet social distancing requirements. Finding out what other partners and suppliers are doing to meet health and safety requirements are important conversations right now too.
· Jes suggests some potential changes for the industry: traditional guided holidays may not be as popular and clients may not have the funds or time to go on longer trips. This means companies need to diversify their product range. Think about short-break trips and ways to elaborate on shorter guided holidays. What options do you provide for people travelling together? Think about intergenerational travel – families have been separated during lockdown and will want to share travel experiences in the future. What can you offer this range of clients to ensure each individual is entertained? Look at new initiatives and look at feedback to ensure your clients will resonate with your new products.
· Communicate the value for money, experience and planned itineraries when marketing domestic guided holiday packages. Remind your clients of the value of day by day costs including meals and the exclusive experiences, not having to drive at a wine tasting or worry about car rentals, travel that is planned and directed, insider knowledge that provides more magical experiences. Communicate this to clients to translate why these packages are worthwhile.
· AAT Kings will be starting discussions through webinars in the coming weeks to educate travel agents about their products. There are other resources available on their website such as maps and seasonal timelines and through the trade portal to find Facebook polls, images and go-to guides.
· For more specific information, reach out to the sales support at AAT Kings. They are keen to get in contact with agents to support the industry for the comeback.
· Jes works in her uniform in the home office every day to stay in the right working mindset.
· Her office is a work-centric place, and at the end of the day or week she doesn’t return back to this space. This helps to completely clock off.
· While on phone calls, Jes stays active by getting her steps up, cleaning, washing etc.
· To differentiate between work and social zoom or phone calls, Jes makes work calls in her office and social calls in her living room.
To watch the full webinar with Jes head to our Facebook page, and to register for our future webinars with experts from the industry, follow the link below.