Advantage toolkit readies agents for May 17 green light
by Steve Hartridge
The Advantage Travel Partnership has created a toolkit for members ahead of the expected reopening of international travel on May 17.
The UK’s largest travel agent consortium has collaborated with several destination partners to launch a series of country campaigns featuring "aspirational content to help agents engage with their customers".
Designed to dovetail into its wider ‘Say hello again to…’ initiative, popular destinations Advantage has partnered with include Italy, Madeira, Morocco, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, and is in discussions with other tourist boards.
Advantage says its new range of B2C and B2B assets, including customer magazines and short format bookazines, will help agents turn enquiries into bookings.
The guides provide inspiration on where to stay and what to do, plus email marketing opportunities for members, including hot offers and solus emails which will be distributed to customers to engage and inspire them to travel to the various destinations in the campaign.
Advantage has also produced ready-made blog content and digital assets for agent members to share across their own social media pages, as well as video content that can be used on in-store televisions and on travel agents’ websites and social media channels.
Destination spotlight videos, which consist of interviews with country representatives to showcase the region, can be used as a training tool for members.
The consortium will also host ‘supplier buzz sessions’ to help expand agent product knowledge, which will be available from early, May. Agents will also have access to the member product communities through email and digital magazines, reaching segmented member groups for products such as touring, cruise, luxury and the over 50s market.
Advantage has produced a checklist for its members so that they can provide accurate advice to their customers. The checklist includes items such as checking each destination’s entry requirements focusing on testing, quarantine and vaccinations. It also lists sources where agents can look at local restrictions around social distancing and wearing of masks.
Kelly Cookes, Leisure Director at Advantage Travel Partnership commented: “As we await the details of the country classifications and Green List announcement, we want to ensure our members have all the tools needed to handle any travel enquiries and bookings.
"There’s never been a better time to book with a travel agent, as they will be able to guide their clients through the booking process, testing requirements, travel and in-destination protocols and be on hand to answer any queries or handle necessary changes.
"As we saw last year, destinations can move on and off the Green List, and we expect this will be the case this summer too, so flexibility is key from agents, suppliers and consumers alike."