Visit West, the official Destination Management Organisation for Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset, has launched a new service to encourage and retain travel trade business in the region.
With booking windows for international visits often shorter than in previous years, combined with increased demand to book via a travel agent and staff changes at many tourism businesses, the team identified increased potential for inbound business being lost from the region, if opportunities are not being serviced efficiently and effectively.
Jon Chamberlain, Head of Marketing for Visit West said, “After Explore GB earlier this year, the team discussed the feedback from our meetings. There was a common theme running throughout, that the trade is going to need as much help as they can get this year as international visitors return to the UK. This is when the idea of ‘Destination Triage’ was born. We have the local knowledge and contacts that can help the travel trade and make their lives easier whilst also helping retain or increase the business within our region – a win, win scenario. Across the West of England, of the total number of staying trips in 2019, approximately 24% were international. However, international trips generated 43% of all visitor nights and 40% of all visitor spend, so it is vital that we do all we can to help the recovery of this market.”
The new ‘Destination Triage’ service will help connect the travel trade with live availability within the region. A simple enquiry email can be quickly and easily distributed amongst local businesses who may be able to fill their inventory at shorter notice than is usual with a travel trade booking, and therefore ensure the business stays in the destination. This can also have a longer-term benefit of matching operators and DMCs with products previously unknown or unconnected with them. It also helps the trade where newer staff may not be completely up to speed with what is on offer in the West of England region. The ‘Destination Triage’ service covers all elements of a trip required by the trade: accommodation, tours, experiences, food and drink, attractions, and transportation.
Visit West will promote the service directly to as many travel trade contacts as possible, alongside pushing the message in relevant travel trade forums. The logistics will be simple, with enquiries received by email and forwarded to suitable members who will respond directly within 24 hours.
Promotional activity includes a dedicated page on the Visit West travel trade website, direct emails to contacts and databases and social media messaging.
For further information on Destination Triage, visit the Visit West website.