Shearings underlines commitment to trade after strong start to 2018

Shearings Holidays is reinforcing its commitment to the trade after claiming a strong January with summer sales to date up 19% year-on-year.

Calls to the operator’s call centre have risen by 51% in addition to more web traffic and sales through its agent website than ever before.

Much of the boost in bookings is being attributed to the operator’s ‘This Is Shearings’ integrated turn of year campaign, which includes a TV advert to drive awareness and a new toolkit for agents to help them increase sales.

Unprecedented growth is being seen for the operator’s events tour programme, with sales up 120%, fueled by packages to the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, the Dancing on Ice Live Tour and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition. Additional capacity has been sourced for many events to meet demand.

Sales of the escorted European programme are up by 45% in total with destinations such as Croatia, France, Spain and Germany doing well.

The operator’s river cruise programme is also seeing growth with sales up 36% year-on-year.

Much of the growth has come from to the addition of A-ROSA sailings on rivers such as the Rhone and Saome and a new level of ship class to customers. Themed cruises such as the Bulbfields, are already sold out for this year.

Shearings Holidays managing director Jane Atkins said: “The last few weeks have been hugely encouraging, we’ve had an excellent start to the year and we’ve had lots of really positive feedback from agents on the campaign.

“We have great value lead-in prices supporting a book early message, which is crucial when promoting event that sell out way in advance.

“We have a high repeat booking rate of around two thirds, so if agents can get customers to book by promoting our great prices they are more than likely to book year after year. It’s an easy win.”

She added: “Going forward we will continue to showcase the range of products that we offer and work with agents so they can capitalise on the opportunities.

“We are committed to the trade and will be working hard this year to educate agents as to the breadth of product available, the repeat value of our customer base and the different modes of transport we offer on many breaks.

“Many agents don’t realise that alongside coach we have rail and flight options on many trips to suit all different types of customers.”