Jane Atkins, MD of Shearings Holidays, talks about her job and escorted touring

Travel Talk

Jane Atkins, managing Director of Shearings Holidays Please describe a typical day at Shearings Holidays

The fabulous thing about working at Shearings is that no two days are the same – there is no typical day! I most enjoy visiting our hotels and coming up with new product ideas, or spending time with my teams to understand what’s trending – I like to know what our customers are buying and what they are saying about our holidays.

What is the company’s vision in relation to the customer?

Our vision is that our customers will have such an enjoyable time on a Shearings holiday that they will want to book another as soon as they come home! So we judge ourselves very much on our customer ratings and our repeat booking levels, we want to welcome customers back time and time again.

What are 50+ customers looking for from Shearings Holidays?

This is Shearings I think that they are looking to us to inspire them to try new holidays and new destinations. They know that they can trust Shearings Holidays, after all we have been offering holidays for over 100 years, but, we have to continue to excite and surprise them. 

Why do you think escorted touring is so popular with this age group?

Touring makes the difficult easy – visiting the ‘must see’ places or attractions in any destination, with the least hassle, and in the most efficient way. Travelling in style, without having to worry about routes or traffic, arriving in a timely fashion, with everything taken care of – what’s not to like?

You’ve recently introduced family holidays, what’s the thinking behind this?

We know that there is an appetite for cross generational travel, either grandparents taking grandchildren with them, or the whole family travelling together. Whitby, North Yorkshire, UK Our family product offers many different opportunities to visit great destinations both in the UK and in Europe that will suit the whole family.

Which destinations stand out as the most popular?

In our Worldwide programme it would be the music cities of the USA, so a tour with a theme. In Europe, for cruising the Danube is always popular, and the beautiful destination of Lake Como is a firm favourite. To Como, we offer a combination of tour and stay options, visiting some amazing locations, but taking time to relax by the lakeside. In the UK, it varies by season, with the coastal resorts of Eastbourne, Torquay and Whitby high on the list in summer, and the more scenic destinations of the Lake District and Scotland in the autumn, spring and winter.

And do you plan to introduce any new destinations?

Santorini, Greece We are always looking to improve our range of holidays, and so for 2019, we have launched a new Grand Tourer programme, our premium escorted tour offering, with holidays such as Greek island hopping, and we will also launch a new worldwide programme for 2019, with exciting itineraries such as Antarctica & Alaska cruising, Cuba and Borneo. We are also working on enhancing our escorted touring product by offering more air travel options.

Could you tell me about your Worldwide Holidays tie-up with Collette? Do these holidays still have the Shearings Holidays ‘touch’ that customers are familiar with?

Collette is a great fit for the Shearings customer, as they have the same ethos of hand-holding on a worldwide scale, and the full support of a tour guide.

Given that our population is aging, with people now travelling into their 90s, will Shearings be providing services that cater for those with mobility or care needs?

Western Cape, South Africa We have a dedicated helpdesk whereby customers can be really specific about their needs either in terms of room type, travel or food, and the team have first-hand knowledge of hotel suitability. We offer porterage on all of our holidays, as well as an extensive regional network and a Home Connect service, so that customers can join our coach network without having to drive themselves.  

And finally, if you had to pick just one destination to visit or travel experience to have, what would it be?

My choice would be a destination where I can touch local history as well as having some time in the great outdoors, probably South Africa or New Zealand.

Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner:
Shearings Battlefield Tours

Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Shearings Coach Holidays

Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Shearings Grand Tourer Luxury Touring

Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Shearings River Cruises

Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Shearings Self Drive Breakaways

Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Shearings UK Hotels

Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Shearings Air Holidays

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