Whether you’ve had to cancel a holiday, fight for a refund, or you’re confused about whether to book a holiday at all, now is the time to build a relationship with a trusted travel advisor, says travel counsellor Nicki Harrison.
‘These have been very difficult times for all of us, with the unknown being a constant challenge. It is unknown when we will step into the next phase of the exit strategy, when we can freely see our families and friends, go the gym and, of course, return to business as usual.
‘During all of this uncertainty, I’ve personally found the expert panel in Guernsey very reassuring. The cautious and well executed approach they’ve adopted has meant that for the last 18 days (at the time of writing), we’ve had no new cases of the virus on the island. I believe their approach has worked because we the public have appreciated their transparency and trust the steps they’ve taken. That trust has been rewarded with increasingly positive results and let’s hope it continues.
‘Thinking of our panel got me thinking about the importance of trust in the travel industry too. The Covid-19 pandemic has had an immeasurable impact on the travel industry but it is important now more than ever to trust in our travel service providers. When we choose to spend money, especially on luxury purchases like a holiday, surely it is important to deal with a person that we can trust so that when disaster strikes, we have someone who truly cares to turn to.’
Supporting customers through the unexpected
‘I know many of the local travel agents in Guernsey and I am sure they, like me, are doing all that can be done to support customers through these trying times. Whether that’s keeping them informed, deferring bookings to next year, attempting to obtain refunds or just giving them hope for the future – caring for our clients and acting in their best interests is second nature to us and that care is priceless.
‘Many people choose to book their travel online with agents they can’t possibly know. I do not blame them, as often the savings can be significant, but I hope this situation will remind people that if you value good service, then please value your local travel advisor and trust in us for your future bookings.
‘I have spoken before about some of my favourite sayings and another is “people buy people first.” It feels very appropriate to mention that now as I can honestly say that as much as I love putting together unique, tailormade holidays for people, it’s building relationships with my clients that is actually the part I enjoy most about my job.
‘When clients “buy into me” and choose to book their holidays through me, in return I will always go above and beyond to not only turn their travel ideas into realities but to support them for as long as they continue to trust me with their bookings.’
Find out what your options are
‘I understand how frustrating the current situation is and that many people are facing different but equally worrying situations. Whether you’ve had a holiday cancelled and your patience tested while trying to get refunded, been prevented from or forced to change that special holiday for later in the year, or you are one of the people concerned about booking because of the unknown impacts of coronavirus – now is the time to pick up the phone or pop a message to your trusted travel advisor and build your relationship with them.
‘You could just have a chat, discuss where you hope the future will take you or perhaps enquire about some of the new flexible booking policies that are available. Once that trusted relationship is there, your advisor can suggest the best time and way for you to start planning and eventually book your next escape. Travel Counsellors, and I’m sure many other agents, are doing what we can to develop flexible booking policies and although they can currently only apply to certain types of travel, more options are likely to be launched in the very near future and one of them could be the perfect fit for you.
‘So if you want something to look forward to or just a chat, all of us trusted travel advisors in Guernsey will be looking forward to hearing from you.
‘In the meantime stay safe and keep smiling everyone.’