On The Road March 2017

Hi everyone,

Welcome to this early spring edition of "On the Road", the newsletter for our Travelsphere and Just You Tour Managers. This edition's cover photo is courtesy of Marsha Kargili, taken in Ranthambore National Park on a recent India tour. Great Shot Marsha.

Further down in this newsletter you'll find the following:

  • The G Effect
  • Photo Gallery
  • Announcements
  • Brochure Requests
  • A few polite reminders
  • Allocations Update

Please take time to read our updates, its full of exciting news and keeps you up to date with the business.

The Tour Manager Team - Natalie, Kay and Adam.

G Whizz

So, we're day 77 of being part of the G family ... what's changed for us so far? Well, it's still very early days. As most of you will have read our CEO Ian Smith is moving on and assuming responsibilities for Travelsphere and Just You will be Alastair Campbell, Managing Director. Alastair has spent most of his career in the escorted touring sector of the travel industry and comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

You can meet Alastair on this video produced by G Adventures.

In January, Bruce Poon Tip, Founder and Captain of G Adventures, came to Market Harborough with some members of his senior leadership team and presented to all staff. He spoke about the history of G Adventures, how he started it and how he sees travel as the greatest form of wealth distribution in the world. We were shown many videos which highlight the great and inspiring work that G Adventures do in destination countries to help create jobs and improve the lives of locals, by using tourism as a force for good.

Our Directors - Tracey, Colin and Nicole - have been to the G Office's in Toronto to exchange working practices and learn how G Adventures operate. We are starting to explore what we can learn from G Adventures and what they can learn from us. There's no doubt they're an innovative company and we are looking forward to seeing what systems and processes we can acquire. We're also investigating which of their superb Planeterra programmes we can get involved with to compliment our Travelsphere Cares and Just You Cares initiatives.

In the meantime, though, the whole company has been extremely busy behind the scenes working to ensure we can still operate as normal e.g. book our flights, take credit card payments for bookings and send emails! We've been changing all of our contracts with our suppliers (Tour Manager's contracts will be issued soon) and we've reworded our policies, terms and conditions and other material to ensure they have the correct company name and licence numbers etc.

All of this has meant that we're a little behind on where we'd normally like to be at this time of year in terms of allocations ................

Polite reminder from the Duty Office ....

Message from Amanda in the web team ...........

"Hi All, Myself and the rest of the Digital Marketing team in Market Harborough are looking for a good photo for one of our web pages on the website. We're currently in the process of creating a web page which will be a reassurance piece for customers (especially first time customers) which will have info on what the company does and what's included in the cost of the holiday, including being greeted at the airport by a Just You Tour Manager. We would really like a nice picture of one of our Tour Managers who will have a Just You sign/badge waiting to greet customers at the airport. This doesn't necessarily have to be at the airport, it could be in resort too. We're just looking for a nice friendly picture that demonstrates the above. Would anyone be able to get a picture like this for us? Thanks so much for your help in advance. If you need any more info on what we need please let me know. - Amanda."

Please help Amanda and the web team.

Brochure Requests

Caroline G recently highlighted to us that she was being asked by several people in the hotels about Trav and Just You, she had the idea of a Names capture form so we could send these potential customers brochures. We think this is a great idea and will work on a suitable form. By far the quickest and easiest way to get potential customers on the mailing list would be to complete the online Brochure request forms there and then. Below are the links, all you need to do is save these to your phone/tablet's homepage and then when members of the public talk to you about the company you can open this link (you'll need internet connection) and request a brochure for them. You'll need to make sure you ask them the opt in / opt out marketing questions. There is a real benefit to customers of being on our mailing or email list, it’s often the only way they'll get to hear about discounts and offers, so its well worth encouraging them to sign up – they can easily opt-out later.

If you struggle with adding links to the home pages of your phone or tablet, try this handy guide - https://www.howtogeek.com/196087/how-to-add-websites-to-the-home-screen-on-any-smartphone-or-tablet/

"I love this tour because ..."

You will have noticed that during the last year we've been asking you to comment on your End of Tour Reports and finish this sentence "I love this tour because ....." Thank you to all of you who have described our tours in an articulate and highly descriptive way. Our e-commerce team have been using these quotes to help sell our tours online and they are definitely making a difference. You'll find these quotes on most web pages of our tours. Please keep completing them though, because tours change and also the e-commerce team would like to rotate the comments now and again so people see a different quote when revisiting the websites.

Thank you so much for doing these, we really do appreciate it. Here's what it looks like on the page ......

Photo Gallery

There have been some excellent photos posted on the Facebook Trav & JY tour Manager's Group. If you're not a member of the Group, please just go to this link, request to join and we'll add you - https://www.facebook.com/groups/alhtourmanagers/ . As we get more members on it, we'll share more updates via there and we can create a great online community for you all to exchange details, thoughts, tips etc.

Our group enjoying some Chilean delicacies in the Atacama Mountain range.
There's always one!!! (And this one's the Tour Manager!!)
Lovely pic of Anne Hathaway's cottage from Simon.
Penguin!
Great sunset pic, taken and edited by Janice in Florida.
Our Peruvian pocket rocket, Rosario, with her group on Lake Titicaca.
Jonathan's got his hands full in Tuscany!
Judy's group were a little hesitant on day 1 in Morocco!
Yvette auditioning for a job as Hurtigruten's official photographer.
Star jumps help fight off the cold in Antarctica.
Our two best Tour Managers, with Judy.
Judy had her pick of top quality chef's in Morocco at Christmas!
We will go to great lengths to get that perfect cup of tea!

I.D passes

Last year we started sending out I.D style passes to replace the pin on badges we previously used, however there are still a number of Tour Managers who have not yet emailed us a recent photo. We really want all TM’s to have these, so if you have not sent us a photo please could you do so as soon as possible, so we can send you a pass before the peak season starts. Ask someone to take a close up shot of your head and shoulders against a plain wall, or blue sky, or grey sky! Or take an extended arm’s length selfie square on and don’t forget to smile! An example of what this should look like is below (although, yours will be better looking hopefully!):

Sadly, we have recently said goodbye to two stalwarts of the overseas operations team - Zoe Bevins and Roxane Wiley. Zoe worked here for 30 years and Roxane 10 years. We thank them for all their superb work over the years and wish them both a very happy and fulfilling life in whatever they choose to do.

We are delighted to announce that Sally Cartwright has now joined the Overseas Operations team as the Manager. Many of you will know Sally from her days in the Duty Office or in Customer Services, or may have bumped into her on the road as she has completed some tours for us as the TM. Sally has a wealth of experience in our business and has already hit the ground running. Sally will be looking after Latin America, Caribbean & Greece. When she's not working, Sally can usually be found cycling the roads of Leicestershire or Europe with her husband Geoff! I am sure you will join me in wishing her well in her new role.

Huge congratulations to TM Claire Mellor, who welcomed into the world on 1st March little Miguel Ángel, weighing 3.680kgs (or 8lb 11oz for the traditionalists)! Congratulations Claire, enjoy every minute.

That's all for now folks!

All the best

Natalie, Kay and Adam.

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