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Potential Routes

Jerry

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I know that the development team are working with a lot of travel agents not just in Wales but around the South West as well promoting mainly the Doha route but other routes as well. They have a Facebook page that they post on showing the various visits and meetups.
The good thing as well concerning the lost Flybe routes is that much of the passenger data and stats will be pretty recent. I do hope in time that many of those routes will be regained.
 

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TheLocalYokel

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I suspect for outbound tourism, such as Orlando, a lot of work needs to be done with Travel Agents and Tour Operators.
I had a wander around the centre of Newport today. I quite like the place - it's got a bit of character - but I hadn't been for a few years.

Anyway, I looked at the display windows of both the TUI and Thomas Cook travel shops in the main shopping area. As usual there were a number of holidays being highlighted in the window at both.

TUI had three operating from BRS and two from BHX with one or two cruise holidays etc that didn't involve an airport. There was nothing advertised from CWL.

Thomas Cook had more holidays in its window display than TUI with eleven from BRS, two from BHX and two from MAN (both long haul transatlantic) - again nothing from CWL.

This probably sums up the situation in a nutshell.



These are
 

Jerry

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Thomas Cook had more holidays in its window display than TUI with eleven from BRS, two from BHX and two from MAN (both long haul transatlantic) - again nothing from CWL.
Yet TCX advertise CWL holidays in Exeter!
One of the problems for CWL is that essentially anything east of Cardiff is where it starts to become just as easy to travel to Bristol as Cardiff and i personally think that airlines operating out of Cardiff consider it's catchment as anything west of Newport and that Newport and the Gwent valleys is part of BRS's catchment hence why no holidays advertised from Cardiff.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Yet TCX advertise CWL holidays in Exeter!
One of the problems for CWL is that essentially anything east of Cardiff is where it starts to become just as easy to travel to Bristol as Cardiff and i personally think that airlines operating out of Cardiff consider it's catchment as anything west of Newport and that Newport and the Gwent valleys is part of BRS's catchment hence why no holidays advertised from Cardiff.
It's seems to be generally accepted that CWL needs to widen its catchment and attract people from outside Wales if it is to make substantial progress. From what has been said in this forum and elswhere Qatar (presumably supported by the airport/WG) has recognised that and there have been forays into the English West Country where the Doha route has been publicised.

Yet, from what you are saying, a piece of CWL's core catchment has almost been allowed to slip away by default. If the airport can't look to its own back garden for passengers how will it do so with confidence from areas further away? TUI and Thomas Cook are important airlines at CWL with both increasing their output at the airport this summer, particularly TUI. It might be reasonably thought that both would be looking to push their own flights/holidays from CWL given their increased presence.

Of course, it might be that the 'headline' holidays advertised in the two travel shop windows were not available at CWL because they had all been sold, but it must leave a thought in the minds of local people glancing at the shop windows that there is nothing to be had at CWL at all. Surely there were some holidays still available at CWL to which both tour operators could have given prominence in their window displays.

If I was a member of the CWL management I would at least be querying with them why TUI and TCX were headlining nothing from CWL in the centre of the third largest city in Wales.
 

Jerry

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If I was a member of the CWL management I would at least be querying with them why TUI and TCX were headlining nothing from CWL in the centre of the third largest city in Wales.
I think that is CWLs problem, persuading airlines like TUI and Thomas Cook to favour it over Bristol especially in the Newport area. I know TUI have expanded but BRS will always be their priority and Thomas Cook although offering more seats per flight with a bigger aircraft have cut the amount of flights rather than adding more.
A lot of people criticise CWL for it's lack of routes and frequencies on the routes it has but it can only provide what the airlines and holiday companies want to provide and if they choose to prioritise their flights and packages from other airports then i don't see what else they can do.
 

Foxlimayankee

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Out of curiosity, were the advertised holidays from BHX and BRS for late deals?
From a business perspective, it could well be the opposite. BRS and BHX may be struggling to sell, yet CWL is selling quite well, so doesn't need to be pushed. If they were late deals, the flights from CWL may be full or nearly. BRS and BHX are much bigger bases with much more competition.
I follow some individual Thomas Cook Travel Agents Facebook pages. Merthyr, Neath and Cardiff are quite good at pushing available deals, and CWL appears as much as BRS and BHX. But these don't tend to be late deals, more holidays way in advance.
 

Cambrian

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I live in Pembrokeshire, and the local travel agents seem to advertise deals from BRS , BHX and the London airports and rarely anything from CWL. Many years ago I knew a travel agent who had a number of shops in the Gwent valleys. He always pushed BRS. When I asked him why he told me that the rep for BRS visited his shops regularly and once a year invited some of his staff to BRS for day out. They rarely saw any one from CWL. Hence his staff felt a loyalty to BRS and pushed holidays from BRS. BRS became the airport of choice. People have long been used to using BRS and it will be difficult to break the habit.
My neighbour flies to southern Spain a few times a year and always uses BRS. He says he and his wife are used to the airport and do not feel the need to change to any other airport
Having said that, on the last two flights from CWL , we met people from Penzance and Bournemouth. Go figure.
 

Jerry

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The airport does have a team that goes around engaging with travel agents not just in South Wales but also in the South West but I guess they can only do so much. With Bristol Birmingham and the London airports quite close people are always going to have lots of other options other than CWL.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Out of curiosity, were the advertised holidays from BHX and BRS for late deals?
From a business perspective, it could well be the opposite. BRS and BHX may be struggling to sell, yet CWL is selling quite well, so doesn't need to be pushed. If they were late deals, the flights from CWL may be full or nearly. BRS and BHX are much bigger bases with much more competition.
I follow some individual Thomas Cook Travel Agents Facebook pages. Merthyr, Neath and Cardiff are quite good at pushing available deals, and CWL appears as much as BRS and BHX. But these don't tend to be late deals, more holidays way in advance.
I don't know if they were late deals. I didn't look at the dates. I was looking to see which airports were being featured. In the past when I've looked at holidays headlined in travel shop windows, including TUI and Thomas Cook, they have sometimes featured multi-dates for the same holiday. It might be that in this instance the particular holidays being offered from the other airports either weren't flown from CWL or were sold out as you suggest might have been the case (the two MAN Thomas Cook holidays were long-haul transtlantic so definitely weren't available at CWL but the majority of the BRS holidays were short haul sun).

I've just checked Thomas Cook availability for summer sun next week week from CWL and 72 different options were presented, yet none of these were featured in the Thomas Cook travel shop window in Newport.

I didn't set out to do this 'straw poll' but as I walked along one of the main shopping streets in Newport I came across the two travel shops in close proximity and that led me to check which airports were mentioned in the holidays advertised in the shop windows.
 

geoff

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I sometimes wonder whether these large multiples are under instructions from their regional managers to advertise more from certain airports. I have noticed in the past that CWL is advertised more from the independent agents, and small chains, especially in the towns situated to the west of the airport.
 

Foxlimayankee

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It is disappointing to see that CWL isn't getting promoted to it's full potential. But at the same time, the likes of TUI and TCX are national companies that have all of their Airports in mind. Often promotional deals in any business are put out to promote items that aren't selling as well as other items that sell themselves.
I have heard in the past that Travel Agents are often under instructions to push holidays from Airports other than CWL. It's a battle that CWL probably faces quite often and have little control of.
I've had a look at Thomas Cook Newport's Facebook page. For August so far they have advertised;
- Various Long Haul trips to America, either using United Airlines or Virgin from LHR despite flying to those destinations themselves from MAN.
- MCO and CUN from LGW on their own flights.
- DXB from MAN using EK, despite many options with EK
- BFS from BRS
- 4 holidays to Turkey varying this summer and next summer. 3 from CWL and 1 from BRS.
- Rome (Winter), Lapland, Barcelona (Winter), Poland from BRS
- Santorini from BHX
- Ibiza from BRS in Oct.

A real mixed bag of holidays but in terms of offering BRS when CWL has the same flights, only 1 Turkey and Ibiza holiday.
I notice one of the CWL-Turkey holidays in Apr 2020. I've not checked, but is the April 20 program the same as this year?

I've also looked at Thomas Cook Neath's Facebook page from the past weeks posts, which is a different story. 7 holidays from BRS and 2 from CWL which is 1 to ZTH and 1 to MLA using FR. I stopped at 1 week as Neath seem a lot more active than Newport on Facebook and push a lot more holidays. There were several more BRS flights posted and not much sign of CWL. Hopefully it is a sign that the flights from CWL are busy.
 

TheLocalYokel

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It is disappointing to see that CWL isn't getting promoted to it's full potential. But at the same time, the likes of TUI and TCX are national companies that have all of their Airports in mind. Often promotional deals in any business are put out to promote items that aren't selling as well as other items that sell themselves.
I have heard in the past that Travel Agents are often under instructions to push holidays from Airports other than CWL. It's a battle that CWL probably faces quite often and have little control of.
I've had a look at Thomas Cook Newport's Facebook page. For August so far they have advertised;
- Various Long Haul trips to America, either using United Airlines or Virgin from LHR despite flying to those destinations themselves from MAN.
- MCO and CUN from LGW on their own flights.
- DXB from MAN using EK, despite many options with EK
- BFS from BRS
- 4 holidays to Turkey varying this summer and next summer. 3 from CWL and 1 from BRS.
- Rome (Winter), Lapland, Barcelona (Winter), Poland from BRS
- Santorini from BHX
- Ibiza from BRS in Oct.

A real mixed bag of holidays but in terms of offering BRS when CWL has the same flights, only 1 Turkey and Ibiza holiday.
I notice one of the CWL-Turkey holidays in Apr 2020. I've not checked, but is the April 20 program the same as this year?

I've also looked at Thomas Cook Neath's Facebook page from the past weeks posts, which is a different story. 7 holidays from BRS and 2 from CWL which is 1 to ZTH and 1 to MLA using FR. I stopped at 1 week as Neath seem a lot more active than Newport on Facebook and push a lot more holidays. There were several more BRS flights posted and not much sign of CWL. Hopefully it is a sign that the flights from CWL are busy.
That's some interesting research, Foxlimayankeee. Many thanks.

I've checked and find that Bristol only has one Thomas Cook travel shop although there are three others in the wider urban area but outside the city boundary. The one within the city is in the south Bristol suburb of Bedminster - not the most affluent part of the city either. There is no travel shop in the central area although there used to be.

Cardiff seems to have four Thomas Cook travel shops.

I wonder how important travel shops are these days to the likes of Thomas Cook if they choose not to site one in the central part of South West England's largest city. Probably shop rental/leasing costs come into it with Bristol being an expensive city for that sort of thing, especially in the central area. Nevertheless, they must be missing some 'passing trade' from shoppers and the like.

I think I remember seeing CWL holidays advertised in a travel shop window (either Thomas Cook or TUI - I forget which) in Wells, Somerset a year or two ago. When I'm out and about I intend looking into West Country TUI and Thomas Cook travel shop windows to see what offerings there are from CWL.
 

Jerry

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I wonder how important travel shops are these days to the likes of Thomas Cook if they choose not to site one in the central part of South West England's largest city. Probably shop rental/leasing costs come into it with Bristol being an expensive city for that sort of thing. Nevertheless, they must be missing some 'passing trade' from shoppers and the like.
I think it's about 50% of their business that comes from the shops.
 

Foxlimayankee

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According to their 2018 report, 48% of bookings were online, 30% through third parties and only 22% through their own retail shops.

From reading an article posted in Feb 2018, TUI had 65% of bookings from online. Their Nordics operation are nearly 100% online.
There's a huge shift towards online booking, as generations become more adaptable to technology, and the booking process online evolves.
Personally, I would not go in to a city centre Travel Agent to book a holiday unless I was specifically in the city centre, to avoid the traffic, parking hassle etc. A suburb located Travel Agent is much more convenient. If i'm booking a holiday I try to focus just on that and make a specific journey if booking at an agents.
I think the Thomas Cook stores locations come from historical duplication after mergers and trying to avoid too many cuts to stores and staff. Barry once had 2 stores in the town centre for quite some time I believe, just around the corner from each other. TUI were more aggressive in their closures after the First Choice merger but still have 5 stores in Cardiff, with 1 in the city centre, 3 in the suburbs and 1 superstore in Cardiff Bay. Incidentally there was a store in Roath that was open a few months ago that's now showing "Permanently closed" on the store finder listings.
Bristol has 10 stores listed, most of which are located in the Central & North parts of the city.
 

Jerry

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, 3 in the suburbs
1 is in rumney near me and the only time I've ever used it was when looking at cruises and I remember the agent was surprised when I asked about their options from Cardiff. All she offered was Bristol, Gatwick and Southampton.
 

TheLocalYokel

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There's a huge shift towards online booking, as generations become more adaptable to technology, and the booking process online evolves.
That's a valid point and clearly supported by the breakdown you quoted regarding the ways that people book their holidays.

We are off on a TUI holiday next month with easyJet the carrier. I checked out the details online first but we booked through a TUI travel shop because we had a number of queries the answers to which weren't apparently easily obtainable online. The travel shop has given us written confirmation of the answers to our questions.

We always book our Australia VFR trips via specialist long-haul travel agents and have always found we can get better deals than booking direct with the airline online.

Personally, I would not go in to a city centre Travel Agent to book a holiday unless I was specifically in the city centre, to avoid the traffic, parking hassle etc. A suburb located Travel Agent is much more convenient.
I'm thinking about casual customers who might see something in a travel shop window. City centres obviously have a much greater footfall than most suburbs.


1 is in rumney near me and the only time I've ever used it was when looking at cruises and I remember the agent was surprised when I asked about their options from Cardiff. All she offered was Bristol, Gatwick and Southampton.
The long-haul fly-cruise market in South Wales is substantial. CWL usually has more of these flights year than BRS. We used to have discussions about this market on WAF.
 

superking

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That's some interesting research, Foxlimayankeee. Many thanks.

I've checked and find that Bristol only has one Thomas Cook travel shop although there are three others in the wider urban area but outside the city boundary. The one within the city is in the south Bristol suburb of Bedminster - not the most affluent part of the city either. There is no travel shop in the central area although there used to be.

Cardiff seems to have four Thomas Cook travel shops.

I wonder how important travel shops are these days to the likes of Thomas Cook if they choose not to site one in the central part of South West England's largest city. Probably shop rental/leasing costs come into it with Bristol being an expensive city for that sort of thing, especially in the central area. Nevertheless, they must be missing some 'passing trade' from shoppers and the like.

I think I remember seeing CWL holidays advertised in a travel shop window (either Thomas Cook or TUI - I forget which) in Wells, Somerset a year or two ago. When I'm out and about I intend looking into West Country TUI and Thomas Cook travel shop windows to see what offerings there are from CWL.
In Weston Super Mare we used to have 2 TUI and 2 Thomas cook travel shops. The shops were inherited when both firms were in take over mood. Weston is now down to 1 of each ,and they always seem busy when I walk past them.On the out skirts of Weston Thomas Cook has a shop in Sainsburys supermarket in Worle,and that looks busy as well.There is a few small travel agents shops that have no ties with the big holiday companies, They offer a lot of holidays that you wont get from the big 2.But I will say the internet has had and will keep on doing so a big impact on holiday shops.
 

Jarvo

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The local TUI shop has a screen advertising in the window which is turned off since it's 6am, but the TCX shop in Pontypridd, just 10 miles north of Cardiff, in the valleys, has 12 holidays on sale in their window. 10 from Bristol, 1 from Heathrow and 1 from Southampton....
While 100% high street stores are becoming a lot less relevant and profitable to the tour operators, one demographic which have definitely continued using the shops are younger groups. I've had a couple of holidays to Ibiza and Rhodes with my friends where everyone turning up at a TUI shop, having a personal agent help stop the never ending debates and then each of us having a personal account with the shop where you can pop in and pay off your share of the holiday bit by bit, and each member's payments are kept a record of. Honestly, when you're not quite travel savvy yet, and there's a group that all want different things, the shops and the agents can be a referee/parent/godsent
 

TheLocalYokel

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The local TUI shop has a screen advertising in the window which is turned off since it's 6am, but the TCX shop in Pontypridd, just 10 miles north of Cardiff, in the valleys, has 12 holidays on sale in their window. 10 from Bristol, 1 from Heathrow and 1 from Southampton....
While 100% high street stores are becoming a lot less relevant and profitable to the tour operators, one demographic which have definitely continued using the shops are younger groups. I've had a couple of holidays to Ibiza and Rhodes with my friends where everyone turning up at a TUI shop, having a personal agent help stop the never ending debates and then each of us having a personal account with the shop where you can pop in and pay off your share of the holiday bit by bit, and each member's payments are kept a record of. Honestly, when you're not quite travel savvy yet, and there's a group that all want different things, the shops and the agents can be a referee/parent/godsent
That's an interesting comment about the demographics of those who use travel shops.

I assumed the most likely generation to still use travel shops was the one at the other end of the age scale as many are not digital-literate (and many don't want to be), and they have always been used to face-to-face customer service in shops, whether for travel or anything else.

I'm one of the latter but I've been Internet-connected for over 20 years. Then relatively few people knew what the Internet was and most of the UK population was not online.

I always assume that the younger generation that has grown up with computers, mobile phones and digital communication generally would automatically look to book holidays online, so your comment is noteworthy.

I might be moving away from the thread subject 'Potential Routes' to a degree, but the discussion is still relevant because without a vibrant airline booking pathway for CWL new routes would be that much harder to bring about.
 

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