The Chief Executive Officer Adriano Apicella and the management team of Welcome Travel Group they met with the sector press in Milan to take stock of sales trends, commercial policy and the progress of existing projects for the brands of the WTG group.
Welcome Travel Group is preparing to close a complex year, worse than 2020, but in which the tourist corridors are driving sales in the last part of the year. After a summer that, albeit with a record trend in the Italian Sea, recorded volumes equal to 25% of the total sales of the 2019 season, starting from October and with the opening of the first tourist corridors, total orders have risen to 50% of the same period two years ago. A result exceeding expectations, which sees the Maldives as absolute protagonists followed by the excellent performance of the Dominican Republic. Requests for the Red Sea are also experiencing an important acceleration with the destination aligned, for sales volumes in the last two weeks, with the numbers of autumn 2019. Equally positive is the trend in the cruise segment, which has been showing a trend since the beginning of October. of orders by 60% compared to the same period two years ago, effectively doubling the positive one already recorded during the summer months. The return to the volumes of the past is slow: the goal is now to reach at least 50% of the turnover in 2019, equal to 1.6 billion, 1.3 billion of which achieved with contracted tour operators. The return to these numbers is expected for 2024 for leisure, while for business travel 2025 is assumed as turnover, but it is expected that it will not exceed two thirds of the volumes compared to the pre-pandemic.
The path of fusion
As already anticipated last spring at the beginning of the merger process between Welcome Travel and Geo Travel Network, the agencies of the new WTG are continuing, in full continuity, their path under the insignia of the brand they have chosen. To the two brands was added the commercial model in the Association in Participation of Welcome Travel Storewith the specific purpose of offering an additional commercial opportunity and the possibility of choosing the best set-up to deal with the restart even more effectively.
For an ever more punctual coverage of the territory and to give maximum listening to all the Agencies, the sales force of WTG will be unique and composed of 16 Network Managers coordinated by two Managers, Andrea Cerri for Northern Italy and Fabio Del Core for the Center- South. The Network Managers will represent all three brands of the group, will manage the Agencies already present in the Network and will be the guarantors of the development and entry of new realities, harmonizing them in the territorial context. This will allow the Agencies to have a single interlocutor with a view to maximum transparency and sharing.
Alongside the unique sales force present in the area, the implementation of the Salesforce CRM will continue with the aim of getting to know all the Agencies in the Network better and being able to manage their requests even more quickly. In particular, the fundamental CRM profiling activity will make it possible to understand how to respond more precisely to the training needs of the individual Agencies both in the product and commercial fields by equipping them with the necessary tools to seize all the opportunities that the many campaigns, including exclusive ones, of the Network make available to them, in full respect of the history that each Agency brings with it.
The commercial contract
From a commercial point of view, WTG confirms its will to create efficient, lasting and evolved partnerships with suppliers; it is in this direction that both the collaboration with Salesforce and the important investments in digital go.
As for the commercial contract for 2022, the key points will be: the segmentation of the partners, the negotiation of the best commercial conditions for the Network Agencies with focus and reconfirmation of the various differentials within the 3 brands, the maintenance of the Win4All system, the reshaping of targets by supplier / product segment. The investment in the centralized product area will be important.
With regard to marketing activities, by virtue of the collaboration with Salesforce, the processes will be unified, while all the b2b activities planned for the three brands of the Group have already been reconfirmed, maintaining their philosophy, uniqueness and historical DNA unchanged. The strategic investment in web marketing has also been confirmed, with WTG already centrally managing more than 1000 websites and about 600 social pages.
Welcome Travel Store
With autumn, the Welcome Travel Store project led by Luca Caraffini came to life. After the launch of the contract and the marketing plan and the launch of the website, the new WTG brand has also started a training and promotion path for the Agencies through webinars and field sales managers.
Based on a more mature and complete relationship signed only with professional Agents who already have a solid experience on the market, Welcome Travel Store presents itself as an innovative business model that allows Agencies to focus specifically on sales activities. This is guaranteed by a new format for simplified management of the point of sale, which reduces fixed costs and centralizes the resolution of bureaucratic requirements, thus guaranteeing greater margins.
A real “2.0 evolution” of the relationship between Network and Travel Agencies that aims to teach school by involving, already in 2022, 60 points of sale to reach over 200 in the following two years, all under the single Welcome Travel Store banner.
“The market is certainly recovering and the tourist corridors are generating a good demand in the Agency, even if limited to the few destinations currently open – he declared Adriano Apicella, CEO Welcome Travel Group -. The whole Welcome Travel Group team, as has already happened in the last 20 months, continues to work hard to give the best to the Network Agencies with particular focus on commercial agreements 2022 and marketing services increasingly focused on digital innovation. In this perspective, the support of the new team of Network Managers assisted by the service center is also fundamental. In this period, we have laid the foundations to make the Network even stronger than the pre-pandemic period, always placing the Travel Agency at the center of all our daily activities and our projects “.