Two weeks after Hays Travel Darlington was named the Top Travel Agency in the North East by the Travel Trade Gazette, manager Nicola Metcalfe, talks about her experience of being part of a power-list of the nation’s best agents.
What was the atmosphere in the branch when you returned as a winner from the awards ceremony?
“The atmosphere in the branch was amazing! All of the team were watching the awards on Facebook live and were celebrating on the night. Everyone is over the moon and we all feel really proud of what we have achieved together.”
More than 950 travel agencies and branches put themselves forward to enter the TTG's Top 50 and after careful consideration the best were shortlisted in different categories. An extensive judging process saw agents get rated by tour operators, suppliers and trade journalists ahead of a glittering awards ceremony, which took place in Birmingham.
Hays Travel Washington and Whitely Bay were also in the race for the title North East Top Travel Agent, along with Westoe and Gazelle Travel.
How did you feel about the travel agents nominated in the same category as you and did you feel confident ahead of the ceremony?
“I did not think we would win. It’s such a big award and there are so many entrants, I was honestly just feeling really proud to be in the top five! I know the managers of the other two Hays Travel branches and we were all just happy to be there and I would have been over the moon if they had won.
"I was just hoping at least one of ours would come out top! They were just as excited as me when I won and we celebrated all night together. Making it to the final five was a huge achievement.”
What is your secret to success?
“I have worked really hard within the branch to create a solid team environment. I am very motivated and I think this rubs off on my team. They are amazing and all truly deserving of this award. The effort they have put in the past year has been recognised and I am thankful to each one of them.
"I believe the success is down to a number of things such as the correct use of social media and the amazing customer service our team provide day in, day out. Also, we have been involved a lot with the local community in the past year. My advice is to be consistent, motivate and praise your team, and make sure every customer is wowed so you stand out from your competition!”