DOWNE TRAVEL, DOWNPATRICK
NORTHERN IRELAND’S TOP AGENCY 2020
Downe Travel customer Noreen Hanlon was so impressed by the agency’s service and support when Thomas Cook collapsed during her holiday in Tenerife last September that she didn’t just tell her family and friends, but the whole of County Down. The agency made local news headlines with its attentive and dedicated approach typifying the high standards this family-run firm, founded by Marie Gallagher in 1991, has come to provide.
Now run day-to-day by her son, Paul, and his team of nine staff, Downe Travel blends its traditional spot on Downpatrick’s high street with innovative ideas for business. From its sponsorship of a community football tournament, which Paul himself played in as a boy, to the introduction of Instagram Stories in its marketing, customer text message reminders and new telephone hold music extolling the benefits of booking, the agency is constantly looking to evolve.
The team regularly uses its expertise to go that extra mile for customers. Undertaking seemingly small gestures, such as helping a family travelling with their autistic son secure priority boarding on a flight or arranging for an elderly couple’s baggage to be transported from Belfast to Edinburgh for the start of their cruise, is second nature for the team and has helped garner fantastic customer feedback. A staff member even took a call late on a Saturday evening to reassure a client over the coronavirus.
No wonder the Gallaghers praise their staff so highly and reward them generously – giving everyone an extra day off for their birthday. There’s plenty of fun for customers to get involved with – letters to Santa for kids and notices of congratulations from Downe Travel to be read to wedding parties on the big day of those who’ve booked their honeymoon. A new radio campaign has spread the Downe Travel message wider still. It’s yet another advancement that has helped the business secure its hat-trick of TTG Top 50 trophies in 2020.