“Hopefully the Top Gear Festival will have redressed the low tourist arrivals problem for this month, but with almost half a year of the softer summer months yet to come, what can we do to grow the most receptive markets?”
Recommendations: Smarter partnerships, and a focus upon Great Britain and Continental Europe
Back in the nineteen seventies while I was working in Canada as a travel agent we pioneered a number of what were then ‘unique smart partnerships’ with airlines and hotel groupings.
One of the most successful was an arrangement with Wardair on the Winnipeg-Gatwick (London) route, where our agency block booked groups on certain dates to obtain a lower price. The benefit to the traveller, our customer, was that if they flew on these particular specified dates, they would get their first or last night’s airport accommodation at no extra cost.
What prompted these memories was trying recently to find a more affordable way of getting my wife to the UK shortly for family reasons. We ended up booking a flight to Manchester, simply because it is currently far less expensive than flying to a London airport.
Despite then still having to travel over 220 miles to where she is staying, off-peak rail travel is very reasonably priced and virtually door-to-door with a minimum number of station changes.
The longest part of the land journey is between Manchester and Euston and is operated by Virgin Trains. This prompted me to look carefully at the incredible network they operate and a closer study of the ticket prices and overall journey times to other major northern British cities. Huge population centres that include Liverpool are only about an hour away and Edinburgh and Glasgow between three and four hours from Manchester Airport. Continue reading