Independent reports best month ever, as customers shun online bookings and trade up

By Lisa James
Home » Independent reports best month ever, as customers shun online bookings and trade up

Independent agency Bordessa Holidays is celebrating its ‘best month ever’, with January sales hitting £460,000.

Co-Owner and Sales Manager Mair Jones said the figure is an 83% increase on January 2022, while commissions are up 181%.

On the last day of January, the agency, based in Carmarthen in Wales, generated £77,000 in sales.

Mair said: “I’ve seen a lot of consortia and groups reporting their best sales and I wanted to share the news that little independents are also doing well.”

She told Travel Gossip sales are still soaring, saying: “Peaks are still peaking.”

Mair attributes some of the success down to customers moving away from online bookings and trading up. To service all the enquiries, the sales team has been working until 10pm, while Co-Owner Chris Bordessa has been starting work at 4.30am to get ahead on aftersales before heading into the office.

“People are coming into our store in person – we’ve had lots of comments from people that they did not have good experiences when dealing with OTAs during COVID – and we are seeing more sales for higher-end, luxury holidays rather than the typical bucket and spade,” she said.

“For example, I had a family of seven looking at going to Egypt in April for just over £8,200. They ended up booking a week at Beaches in Jamaica, which cost only £1,400 more in total, so the value is much better.

“Peaks are still peaking into February. The last two weeks we have seen more escorted tours and cruises being booked for Q3 2025.

“Travel is back and people are definitely wanting to make more lasting memories.

“During COVID, we had a lot of calls from customers who had booked elsewhere and couldn’t get through either because they’d booked online or staff were on furlough.

“People are remembering who was there when they needed help and that’s us – the small local agents, as well as homeworkers. We all came together and got through it with the help of our fabulous suppliers.”

Bordessa Holidays’ previous best month was last summer, when sales were boosted by £200,000 in bookings to the World Cup.

Pictured with the Bordessa Holidays team is Nicola Andrea, Business Development Manager at Jetset (third from left).

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