Q&A with One Traveller
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At the moment we are all armchair travellers, but
Silver Travel Advisor’s partner companies are continuing to work hard for the
time when we can travel in the UK and abroad once more. Jeannine Williamson
caught up with Daniel Adams, Head of Product & Marketing for One Traveller, which offers fully escorted
holidays exclusively for the mature single traveller. Here he explains what the
company had been doing during lockdown, his predictions for the future and some
exciting things to look forward to.
How has One Traveller been helping customers during the Covid-19 outbreak?
peace of mind and mental wellbeing was one of our first priorities. Prior to
lockdown, when the government advised the vulnerable and over 70s to
self-isolate for three months, as well as seeing that other countries starting
lockdown, we cancelled all departures for three months. We assessed this again in
May and looked at when travel bans will be lifted to the places we travel to and
made the hugely brave step to not commence departures until 1 September, when
we feel most destinations will be ready for visitors. We aimed to be as clear
as possible and guests were also able to transfer holidays for a later date
with all administration charges waived. Our web and marketing team then created
our Stay at Home section on our website for those isolating, especially for
those who lived alone. This offers a range of practical support such as
avoiding lockdown scams, using technology to set up online meetings with
friends to a range of online quizzes, theatre and opera performances as well as
virtual city and museum tours which keep the idea of travel alive. This has been
a great success and will now become a permanent fixture for people to enjoy in
their downtime between holidays.
What feedback have you had from guests during lockdown?
We have found that our
guests are raring to travel again. Initially, it could be split into three
groups; those that were ready to travel as soon as possible and booking ahead,
those who were cautiously optimistic but would wait for better news before
booking again and then people who need to hear definite news before booking. We
have been exceedingly lucky with over 80% of all guests either re-booking for
2021 or later in the year and even using their balances for festive holidays.
The majority feel that time has been lost and that they need to recapture as
soon as possible. We really are truly thankful for the loyalty our guests have
shown to us.
How have you and the team been spending your days?
has been spent getting 2021 holidays ready earlier than usual for our guests to
plan ahead and have something to look forward to. Outside of that, I have
brushed up, and enhanced my BSL (British Sign Language) skills. The team at One
Traveller also engaged in a sponsored charity walk around our own gardens for
our local hospital’s special care baby unit, walking 105 miles between us. Our
Director Ian Darkin’s twins Francesca Grace and Edith Hope were born in
December and spent 105 days in the unit (part during lockdown) and are little
miracles. It was a great way for the team to stay connected as well and work
together for a good cause.
team has coped amazingly, and constantly reassured guests that their monies
were protected and that they could transfer bookings without charges. The team
also called guests on cancelled departures to discuss their options. With the
initial level of insecurity and mixed information in the media, guests were
anxious and at times calls were not easy but they have been fantastic in taking
the time to chat and offering peace of mind. The team worked tirelessly to
ensure that we had 2021 holidays on sale and launched. The pride they have
shown in the company and devotion to our guests has been outstanding.
How do you think Covid-19 will impact the future of travel?
we are seeing that some will take more holidays to make up for lost time but
some will be more cautious and may start with one of our extended range of UK
breaks. Shorter European holiday could also be popular, to help regain confidence.
When travel resumes what destinations do you see as up and coming ‘hot spots’?
that have coped well during the recent months and seen a lower impact, and
where people will feel comfortable to travel initially, will be the areas
people will gravitate towards. Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia,
Croatia, Southern Italy, Scandinavian countries and the Czech Republic have
returned to normality very quickly and scenic holidays offering scenery, open
spaces and tranquillity will be those that people will initially consider.
Further afield Georgia, which is locked in by mountains, and countries that have
the infrastructure to cope with the pandemic are poised to do well. Which for
us means Morocco, Oman, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.
What news do you have to share with Silver Travel Advisor?
We’ve just launched an eight-day
holiday to Vienna staying in the Vienna Woods which features a performance of
the Spanish Riding School and dinner and concert in the Kursalon, where Strauss
performed. We will again be offering two European river cruises on sole
charters purely for mature single travellers, with each guest having their own
double cabin and plenty of space on board with all meals, drinks, excursions,
gratuities and many extras included. These are on the Rhone, visiting the
Ardeche, Camargue and Provence, and the Danube, and are in addition to our
Cairo and Nile cruise sole charters.
Is there a final message you’d like to pass on to One Traveller guests?
A huge thank you for the
patience and loyalty in the last months. We have been buoyed by some lovely
comments, even gifts of cakes and biscuits and it really has kept the team
going. Our tour managers around the world have missed our guests and are raring
to get travelling again and they have been moved by the concern on how they
have been faring. It has been a challenging time and we really look forward to
having our guests come back to join our family and making travelling the
wonderful social exploration that it is!
Silver Travel Advisor
203 people found this feature helpful