I don’t know about you but after the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations, January and even February are often dull and drab months that have to be endured. Let me lift your spirits with a collection of festivals and events that can be used as the cornerstone for a UK tour that can be customised to meet your customer’s interests, time frame and budget. To enable them to travel less and therefore see more, they are based in the Cotswolds and in the colourful seaside city of Brighton. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re a frequent reader of my Agent’s Perspectives, you’ll know that I’m a great believer in creating itineraries that enable your clients to travel less and see more. This week, I’m introducing a five-night, on-location masterpiece centred on Bath and Oxford with three nights in London at the end. It includes places used in the filming of the new Netflix period drama Bridgerton, The Secret Garden, Wolf Hall, Poldark, Harry Potter, and Downton Abbey. This rich blend is further enhanced with visits to treasure-filled Blenheim Palace and an unforgettable English afternoon tea. Read on and then ask me for the itinerary which includes other must-see On Location visits. Read the rest of this entry »
With news of the long hoped for COVID-19 vaccine lifting our spirits, here are some more profit-generating ideas for those of you with April/May travel to the UK on your radar. They come to you with my warmest good wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving.
Last Tuesday’s headlines like ‘One small jab for man…’ (Daily Mail) and ‘A shot in the arm to beat Covid’ (Metro) lifted our spirits on this side of the pond. No doubt, you saw something similar in your own media. After nearly 8 months of profound hope-deprivation (we’re in total lockdown here in the UK until 2nd December) the light at the end of the tunnel could be leading us all towards a brighter future.
With the prospects improving for the restoration of transatlantic flights and cruise ships weighing anchor, here are a few ideas that will help you to harness some of the pent-up demand for UK-bound travel in April and May.
Regular readers will be familiar with my 4-word mantra of ‘Travel less, See more’ which you’ll find resonates extremely well with clients who have been to Britain before. Being anglophiles, they will represent some of the pent-up demand you should be targeting for when planes start crisscrossing the pond.
While it is just 281 miles from London Heathrow to Penzance, it’s still a fair distance to travel especially if you’ve spent 8-11 hours flying through 8 time zones to get here, with jetlag still waiting in the wings. In a normal year, there are flights from LHR to Newquay (70 minutes). Hopefully services will be restored sooner rather than later.
Another option is taking the Heathrow Express to Paddington for a night in London before returning back to the station for an early departure, a 4.5-hour direct train ride to the cathedral city of Truro. The coastal town of Penzance is just 30 minutes further down the line. Letting the train, and the well-stocked buffet car, take the strain makes a great deal of sense for travel in both directions. Here come the conversation-starting tour suggestions.
Cunard’s recent announcement of their new series of Mediterranean cruises set me thinking about some of the short programmes I can offer as pre- and post-cruise extensions from their main UK port of Southampton. The collection I’ve created includes Downton Abbey, the Cotswolds, Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Morse, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and the Beatles.
Given your knowledge of your client’s interests, generate some extra commission by offering them something that’s closer to their heart than a straight Southampton/London transfer!
Covid-19 has stalled UK-bound travel, but it hasn’t destroyed our historic sites, great cathedrals, abbeys, castles, and stately homes – or prevented Mother Nature from the annual refurbishment of our great gardens, both large and small.
Keep making plans for spring 2021 and beyond.
Fans of Masterpiece will be thrilled by the news in this week’s top story, with many of them equally intrigued by the prospect of virtually attending the world’s longest-running literature festival WHICH KICKS OFF TODAY in the Cotswolds spa town of Cheltenham.
Pitch these ideas to your anglophile customers who will love them, and let’s explore how we can turn fiction into profitable reality.
In a normal year, with the summer holidays over and kids returning to school, college and university, some of the UK’s annual September festivals offer you the possibilities for some late summer, GB-bound business in 2021. The Virtual International Agatha Christie Festival was introduced this week and; with the huge interest in Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and other great detective novels, movies and TV series; you could use this to generate interest in a tour customised to meet your client’s favourite characters.
There’s a great Whisky Festival in Scotland, an international Three Day Event at Burghley and the world’s greatest Jane Austen Festival in Bath; and, for garden lovers, the RHS Wisley Flower Show takes place at the same time as the Leeds Castle Festival of Flowers. Read the rest of this entry »
Two weeks ago, my Agent’s Perspectives article took a look at Castles and Cathedrals in the Cotswolds. This week, the focus sharpens on some of the Castles, cathedrals, and some 11th century churches which are like a slow but riveting walk through centuries of English history.
Some of them double up as short pre-or-post cruise extensions sailing in/out of Dover, while others come together as components for a travel-less, see-more tour that will appeal to your garden-loving clients. Other ingredients can be blended together for an English cathedrals-based tour perhaps with Sunday morning worship in Canterbury Cathedral?
Frequent readers of my Agent’s Perspectives will know of my enthusiasm for creating customised UK tours that “travel less,” so that clients can see a great deal more. With Stratford upon Avon to the north, the Roman/Georgian city of Bath to the south, and access from LHR and London through Oxford to the east; the Cotswolds is home to a number of remarkable castles and cathedrals. This week, I’m taking you on a journey that spans well over 1000 years of turbulent and nation-forming history. When you add Blenheim Palace, the Rothschild’s priceless art collections at Waddesdon Manor, some private gardens, pubs, and tea rooms, there’s a lot to get excited about – and that’s where my knowledge, experience and connections come into play for a customised tour. Enjoy the trip! Read the rest of this entry »
Capture some of the pent-up demand for UK travel with these imaginative early season tour ideas for 2021. Kew Gardens Orchid extravaganza is truly stunning, and Cornwall’s gardens are resplendent in March thanks to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream (and a dash of Doc Martin). Tulips drive an April tour and malt whisky and ancient castle influence a visit to southwest Scotland in May. Read the rest of this entry »
Let me add a bit more colour and excitement to your Friday with an invitation to spend some time at this week’s Virtual RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park near Chester.
Then, take your imagination for a stroll through some exhilarating YouTube experiences with jousting at 11th century Arundel Castle, Tudor England at the Shakespeare Houses in Stratford upon Avon, and the re-enacted 11th century Battle of Hastings. My final stories outline a “travel less, see more” tour of ancient England with the great waterfront city of Portsmouth as the hub. Read the rest of this entry »
For clients with an interest in gardening, classical music, opera and the visual arts, early July is a great month for a UK tour. The star attraction for many will be the spectacular, colourful RHS Hampton Court Festival of summer and flowers in the grounds of the historic palace on the banks of the River Thames
With London getting busier at the beginning of summer, it’s time for your clients to get out of the city and into the Cotswolds where a remarkable collection of annual festivals and events can be blended together to create profit generating pre or post extensions to their 3-4 nights in our capital city. Read the rest of this entry »
Last Tuesday, our UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from 4th July, the self-distancing figure shrinks from 6 feet to 3 feet which will enable hotels, pubs, restaurants, and many attractions to reopen. This is the biggest leap to near normality since the lockdown started on 23rd March.
Responding to this encouraging news, I’ve focused on the month of June and have chosen four annual events which you can use as the foundation for a 2021 customised UK tour for 2-3 clients, or even a small group of 10-12.
The first one features the Dickens Festival in the cathedral of Rochester with the second centred on the Jane Austen Regency Week in the Hampshire villages of Chawton and Alton, where she spent much of her life. June is also a good month for an On-Location Doc Martin/Poldark tour to Devon and Cornwall. Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t know if you saw the Development Counsellors International report issued in late March, about what travel advisors need from destinations during COVID-19, but my eye was caught by the fact that while you were dealing with cancellations and reassuring clients about future bookings, 38 percent reported using this time to engage in professional education.
If that includes you, take a look at my April and May articles. You’ll discover that I’m providing you with information on internationally renowned ANNUAL events and festivals that can provide the cornerstone for a UK tour Read the rest of this entry »
This week, I am highlighting 4 world-leading events that take place ANNUALLY in May. They include the Chelsea Flower Show as you’ve never seen it before, the opportunity to virtually attend the Hay Literary Festival, a close encounter with the Badminton Horse Trials, and a look at the renowned Bath Festival.
I’ve added a day in the life of treasure-filled Waddesdon Manor, a closer look at the internationally renowned Leonardslee Gardens and, to further lift your spirits Read the rest of this entry »
As you can’t make it to the UK at the moment, let your imagination (and technology) transport you across the pond to learn more about some of the travel experiences you could offer clients in May of next year. Especially for those who have been to the UK on several occasions in the past. Some of them may only want to go to London but, if they’re actively involved in the cultural scene at home, they might like to be offered other options which can be tailored to meet their specific interests and time frame. Read the rest of this entry »
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of the annual Royal Horticultural Society’s spring and early summer flower shows, the one they stage at Hampton Court Palace has now been scheduled to take place between 10th-15th September. It replaces the RHS Wisley Flower Show. Offer it to garden-loving clients who have missed the Chelsea Flower Show, and let’s add two more floral spectaculars that are taking place at the same time at fairy-tale Leeds Castle and magnificent Salisbury Cathedral.
Then, brighten your day and fire your imagination with some sensational colour-filled videos of English gardens AS THEY LOOK NOW and will be again in April 2021.
Regular readers will be familiar with my four-word mantra of “TRAVEL LESS, SEE MORE.” This week, I’m taking you north of Hadrian’s Wall as I sow some seeds that could become the basis for a customised tour for 2-4 or 10-12 clients in the spring/summer of next year. Read on, become inspired, dream a little and then let’s exchange some emails about a plan for 2021.
Last Friday, I spotted a recent Development Counsellors International survey on what travel advisors need during the COVI-19 crisis. The fifth of their key findings confirmed that 38 percent of those surveyed are using their time to engage in professional education. For those of you with the UK on your radar, check out the videos, expand your UK product knowledge, be inspired, reflect on what you see and start planning for the future.
Read on, enjoy these eye and ear-catching snapshots and stay well as we all work our way through this crisis. Read the rest of this entry »
This week, I’m sharpening the focus on some irresistible travel experiences in the north of England which are made all the more accessible because of Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop flights to Manchester. With airside to curbside in around 30 minutes, let me whet your appetite with an amazing Liverpool and London Beatles tour (also available in a modified format as a Liverpool shore excursion) and the idea of creating imaginative three county combinations like England, Wales and Scotland, or England, Wales and Ireland – which is what the Manchester gateway can deliver for you. Nearly all of these suggestions are for August and September 2020. Read the rest of this entry »