Remaking Holiday Making.
Holiday Extras' vision for the future
Will you join us for the journey?
In a nutshell
By anticipating each customer's needs, wants and dreams...
...we will help make it easy, fun and fast to plan and enjoy every trip.
Interested? Read on...
2020 was no holiday…
The global pandemic stopped global travel in its tracks. Holidays were cancelled or postponed. Our business was hit with the biggest challenge it could possibly face. We learned in one year what could have taken us five. We used the time to refocus and get ready to come back stronger.
Now that a recovery is underway, we look forward to welcoming our customers back. We have an updated strategy and a plan to deliver it. 2020 is over. It's time to move onwards and upwards.
Now more than ever, we believe that time is precious and that holiday times are some of the most precious times of all. That belief drives us every day. Holidays are good for us. They are when we spend time being ourselves with the people we care most about. They rejuvenate us, educate us and bring the world closer together. Because we believe holiday time is precious, we really want our customers to have the best possible time they can with their holiday time. Through our products and services we offer our customers less hassle so that they can enjoy more holiday. That's our "why". Less hassle, more holiday.
Remaking Holiday Making
We now have a plan on how we will remake ourselves. We will remake how we work, we will remake how we serve customers and we will remake our product.
Our strategy is best summed up like this:
By anticipating each customer's needs, wants and dreams...
...we will help make it easy, fun and fast to plan and enjoy every trip.
It's our ability to anticipate that will drive our customer experience. Being great at understanding each customer and their trip is the starting point for all that we do.
A trip starts with a dream
What is a trip?
A trip starts with a dream. It could be a family summer holiday. Dreams of sunshine, watersports, games, nightlife and relaxing on sunbeds. It could be a cruise holiday with dreams of exotic locations, fine dining and great company. It could be a winter sports holiday with dreams of fresh air, learning new skills and celebrating at the end of every day.
That dream can be many months before our customers actually go on holiday. And - the trip doesn't end until they return home.
When we think of their trip, we mean everything from the dream to returning home.
It includes planning and choosing where to go.
It includes buying the trip.
It includes packing and getting ready.
It includes the excitement of the departure day.
Of course, it includes the holiday itself.
As well as the journey home and walking through the front door.
And it includes so much more.
Holiday Extras can help our customers with all of this. Whether it's travel insurance, travel money, airport parking, airport hotels or overseas transfers and attractions, we can help reduce hassle throughout the trip.
Until now though, ¾ of our customers buy one product from us, airport parking. We are great at airport parking. We're possibly the best in the world. However, airport parking is under pressure. It's not too difficult to imagine a future where airport parking is a product in decline. For example, electric self-driving cars might be here sooner than we think.
We cannot rely on one product.
Our mission therefore is to help customers with products throughout their trip, from dream to returning home, not just at the airport.
So how do we do it? How will we make every trip easy, memorable and fun?
It's all about anticipation.
Anticipation. What does it mean?
It's all about being able to predict. To predict we first need to listen.
By listening, we mean that we will gather information on who our customers are, what they need, and when and where they are travelling.
If we know this, if we know who our customers are and when and where they are going on holiday, it will put us in a much better place to do two things
i) that we can intelligently recommend products and services relevant to them and their trip
ii) that we can deliver our customers intelligent hassle-free experiences
Delivering great experiences
This brings us to an important point
We won't just sell products, we will create and deliver unique experiences
An experience is essentially a feeling that you have when you use our service.
For example, that feeling when you're ushered through like a VIP
Or that feeling you get when you're welcomed by name and recognised.
Or that feeling when you don't even need to ask a question to get the answer you wanted.
We create feelings. We already do. We just need to focus on creating more feelings, better feelings, better experiences.
We have a great advantage…
We can use our creativity, our relationships with suppliers and partners, our technology, our data and our service expertise. Putting these together we can create and deliver unique experiences.
Experiences that are memorable, that are difficult for our competitors to copy, experiences that keep our customers coming back year after year, trip after trip, holiday after holiday.
We'll start by asking about the trip
We need to know three things. Where, When and Who. Where a customer is going, when they are going and with whom they are travelling. This gives us what we need to know to make great product recommendations.
Until now, most of our customers come to our website to find and buy a specific product.
And we have made it very easy to buy that product.
But now we have a new way to showcase our products. We call this HEHA!, the Holiday Extras Holiday Assistant. HEHA! Is the brains behind the product recommendations we show to our customers. We already have it live in our app. When customers use HEHA!, they buy more products from us and they come back to buy again more often.
What we are going to do next is bring the HEHA! Experience to the web. That means you'll have the HEHA! powered search results when you do a regular search on desktop or mobile.
In time, instead of us offering different booking journeys for each product we offer, we will have a single search with all the most relevant products shown.
A customer will simply tell us when and where they are travelling and we will show all the products that can help make their trip more hassle free. We'll also share content and tips.
The fastest, smartest and most personal service in travel
We're also going to use our smart HEHA! brain to re-invent our service too.
Our smart chat service will understand your history with Holiday Extras. It knows your current bookings and it knows your previous bookings. It knows your current situation and can proactively suggest solutions to help you. We will combine artificial intelligence with the best human support to create artificial-intelligence-powered human service.
It will be fast. We will understand where on the website our customers are when they ask for help and it will help you to get to a solution faster.
We'll make it personal. We will deliver to our help team not just the information for a single booking but historical bookings and contact history. All these information points will enable our interactions to be more personalised and efficient. We will be jargon free and easy to understand, friendly and human.
Every trip and every holiday thing
Holiday Extras is one of the very few travel companies that can be helpful to every traveller for every trip
We have, to date, (until now) focussed on extras for overseas trips. We will continue to do that, not just for one trip per year for our customers but for every trip they take. Winter summer and in between.
We have launched domestic breaks to offer our customers between overseas trips. This could be a theatre break, a theme park break or a city break.
We already know how to do this well because we have been selling theme park breaks online for our partners for many years now.
Now we will sell short breaks to our own customers too.
A short break also starts with a dream. We will help customers turn that dream into reality with unique hotel plus ticket packages. What we believe we will be able to do better than anyone else is to make it super easy for customers to find and book their ideal short break.
Building a sustainable future
Just as much as we believe time is precious, we believe that our planet and it's people are precious too.
That's why we are putting sustainability at the heart of our strategy.
We reviewed the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and identified four where we believe we can make the biggest impact:
We aim to "leave only footprints", encouraging our team and customers to explore our beautiful planet with limited negative impact and increasing the value given to the destinations visited.
We will focus on "clean energy", measuring our carbon footprint and reducing it to neutral or better. We will provide alternative, cleaner products and provide transparency on the environmental impact of the products we sell.
We will be "unleashing potential", leading with our purpose and vision, continuously developing and growing our diverse team and making a positive difference on wellbeing in our team and community.
We will "inspire and share" to engage and develop young people, using our skills and expertise to support and solve sustainability challenges in the travel industry and the local community.
All for one and one for all
All of our businesses are able to help deliver the vision of our remade customer experience.
Airparks (our airport parking property and operations) enables us to secure product that our customers need and leads the way when it comes to setting the standards in great customer experience.
Park-IT (vehicle movement platform) helps deliver an enhanced customer experience for travellers, whilst increasing the amount of high quality supply available for us to sell.
Chauntry (reservation software) assists our suppliers to build customer relationships (Parkspace product) and powers our group pricing and availability engine.
Shortbreaks make it simple for our partners to transform a day trip into a memorable short break experience. As the partner fulfilment business continues to grow, so does our expertise and the products that we can source to sell directly to our Holiday Extras customers in our year round breaks program.
Plus of course, our UK and Germany Holiday Extras businesses put it all together and give us a platform to make hassle-free travel possible.
If we deliver on our strategy it will be
Better for our customers...
Making it easy to plan and enjoy their trip
Better for partners...
Making it easy to offer their customers what they need
Better for suppliers...
Making it easy to get more visibility and sales
Better for our people and the planet...
Making it easy to thrive in a sustainable way
Remaking the making
We have a great set of values developed and embraced by our team. We aspire to "be one team", "be pioneering in spirit", "be the best version of you", "be at the helm" and "be courageous". ("Read more on our values here).
Values take us so far, it???s what we do with them that counts.
To be different we will need to work different and so to deliver on our strategy we are "remaking the making".
Here are four ways in which we will need to work differently
Firstly, our focus must always be on the outcomes that we are delivering for our customers.
This is our measure of success. It doesn't matter how much work we do in the background, how elaborate our plans or processes, what matters most is the impact we have on our customers and how quickly we change what we offer them. How quickly we can move from the "before" to the "after"
Secondly, our thinking must always be "what are we solving for our customers"?
This means that when describe work to be done, we explain the customer problem and use language to focus on that rather than on the specific business benefit we will receive. Business solutions are useful of course but only if they solve customer problems. By customer "problem" we also mean customer "need" and customer "desires".
Thirdly, we will need to remain flexible and fast moving.
To organise ourselves we need to do so around the customer problems we are solving at that time. We will put together the team we need with the skills and experience for that particular piece of work. We will still have some fixed departments in the company but that's not how we will organise the innovation. Innovation works best in small independent teams that can form and reform depending on the challenges of the day.
Finally, fourthly, we will each use our own personal creativity to do what we can to make this vision come true. By taking the time to understand this strategy, each member of the Holiday Extras team will be better positioned to contribute to the mission.
Innovation in the air
Our buildings are designed for innovation. We have created the space for small teams to work together on solving problems. Plus, we've invested in the technology to make remote working seamless. We know that to deliver on our strategy, we need to be able to collaborate around clearly defined goals.
These are some of the things you should hear people say as you pass by their desk
The commercial team might say… "how could we make this product 1% better today"
The product team might ask, "how could this be the ultimate 11-star experience?"
Software engineers might ask, "what happens when customers use this"?
Data scientists could ask, "How do we improve which products we are recommending"
Our trading teams might ask, "How does the customer feel buying this product?"
A marathon, not a sprint
We're in this for the long haul. We know that our mission will never be done. There is always more than can be done to create hassle-free travel.
We have a deeply experienced team. Many of our team have worked their way through the company doing many different roles. We don't rest on our laurels, we push our learning and self-development and there are constant opportunities for growth and learning.