John Willson John Willson

Retail locations still open set be ‘rewarded for tenacity’

Travel locations that have remained open through the Covid-19 period, particularly branded locations, will retain a strong position in the market as the travel industry recovers, says John Willson, general manger retail with First Travel.

He says clients will be looking for financially stable and trustworthy advisors who are easy to access for a  one-on-one conversation.

‘The travelling public will still do their searching online but either through a lack of confidence or because of fear instille upon them, they will not press the book button.’

He says they will be looking for a trusted travel professional to do this for them.

‘Travel professionals who have maintained their retail locations will reap the rewards of their tenacity to remain in their respective locations.’

Willson feels branded retail locations are particularly well positioned to capitalise on travel’s recovery.

‘This is because there are economies in numbers using the same brand with respect to marketing and preferred partner products. The old saying that there is strength in numbers will never be truer as we work thought this period.’

Willson acknowledges that there will be a ‘truck load’ more brokers as many of the hibernating stores reincarnate themselves.‘We have strong, large broker brands who will relish the opportunity to regenerate the numbers they have inevitably lost, which is good news.’

However, he says agents looking to head down the broker path have another attractive option.‘Why not broker for a retail travel location, one that knows your area and can assist you to re-enter the industry with the expertise and systems necessary.’

Willson points to First’s retail brand YOU Travel. ‘First Travel Group offers all options for travel recovery and revival with a management stricture that has the reputation of being communicative and there for its members right throught he Covid period,’ Willson adds.

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