Ask the experts: May 4

Ask the experts: May 4
By admin



If you have a question for our expert panel, send it to

Q: Hope Carmmichael of The Holiday Hunter asks:

I have a client who has been inspired by the SBS TV show Who Do You Think You Are? He's traced his family history back to Devon and Cornwall in the UK and would like to explore the region and look more closely into his family tree. I've put an FIT package together, but I'm struggling to find many decent hotels. He really wants to take his family to some English-style properties and he's a big spender so budget isn't really an issue. Can you recommend anything appropriate?

A: Dan's answer:

It sounds like you've got a dream client there. Few Australians visit Devon and Cornwall in the UK's south west and it's a shame because it is a beautiful part of the country. In fact, hordes of Brits head there for their summer holidays each year. However, many of them are in caravans, or stay at camp sites, B&Bs and holiday homes, and consequently there is a lack of large four and five-star hotels.

That's not to say there isn't a wealth of interesting properties for your clients though. One of my personal favourites for something a bit unique is the art deco Burgh Island Hotel in Bigbury-On-Sea in South Devon. This iconic Devon landmark is located on its own tidal island and is surrounded by golden beaches. Built in 1929 and restored to its 1930s glamour in 2006, the hotel was regularly frequented by celebrated crime novelist Agatha Christie during the 1930s and 1940s. It was even the setting for a few of her thrillers, including Hercule Poirot's Evil Under The Sun.

Q: Deborah Meedham of Harvey World Travel asks:

Our local newspaper has approached us to do some advertising. It seems like a good opportunity as it's relatively cheap, the paper is well read and they're offering us a full page. But we've done these kinds of things before from time to time and I never have any idea of whether they bring us extra business. Can you tell me how I can track the effectiveness of this advertising?

A: Georgia's answer:

Advertising can be a great way to motivate your local market to plan and book a holiday, but it is important to evaluate its effectiveness so here are two simple ways you can do this. Firstly, in your advertisement, consider asking readers to mention an exclusive offer when they come to book. As an example, "mention Winter Sun deal and receive a 20% discount on travel insurance". These exclusive offers can range from value add-ons to holiday packages or something more generic, such as a free Lonely Planet guide. When consumers request the deal you'll be able to track the inquiries and business resulting from the newspaper advertisement.

Another way is to drive people to a unique webpage on your agency website as the call to action. For example, provide the url such as where readers can find details of your offer, how to book or additional destination information. When readers visit this dedicated campaign webpage, your website tracking will tell you how many were motivated by the call to action on your ad. And remember – try to create a sense of urgency with your advertising by limiting the offer to "this weekend only" or so it's easier to monitor the response. And if you advertise regularly, compare your results so you are able to determine which advertising messages have been most effective.

Q: Jenny Hughes, Agency withheld, asks:

I've recently switched agencies and in the process moved from being a senior consultant to a store manager. I've been running the office for three months now and generally it's all going well, but I do struggle with keeping the team in order. This is the first time I've managed a team and it's a good one, but they're turning up 10 minutes late a lot, there's lots of chit chat and they're not closing sales as strongly as I'd like. I think they need a kick up the bum, but I'm conscious that I need to win their trust and I'm worried that if I lay down the law they might turn on me completely and leave. What should I do?

A: Rachael's answer:

Your instincts are dead on – winning your team's trust will help inspire them to perform at their peak. The good news is that you can develop that trust and establish some boundaries at the same time, without squashing creativity and initiative through a dictatorial management style.   

We believe people perform best when they can approach their work with a sense of ownership and freedom, and, believe it or not, boundaries can be an integral part of this. Those boundaries indicate what constitutes a job well done, as well as what type of behaviour is considered detrimental to a harmonious, successful workplace.  
With this in mind, we developed a leadership model called the Freedom Framework specifically to help managers like you lead their teams to optimal results. The framework allows you to strike a balance where people know exactly what is expected of them, understand and value those expectations and rules, and then are left to get on with their job.   

The elements consist of:  
· Company values (what does your business stand for?)
· Results (what constitutes success for the team and for individuals?)
· Operational Systems and Processes (what operational aspects are non-negotiable?)
· Behavioural Expectations (what sort of behaviour do you want to see more of and less of?)
· Individual Roles and Responsibilities (usually their position description)

We recommend working on these expectations as a group in a team meeting setting, discussing and agreeing on a set of boundaries, or framework, that everyone will adhere to. Explain that, as their leader, your aim is to give people freedom in the workplace, and by establishing boundaries that everyone agrees to work within, they can get on with it and live freely within those boundaries. It's really about finding the right balance.  

For more details on the boundary sections, I invite you to download our Freedom Framework model.

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