Hola from sunny Spain!
Time is flying out here on the Costa del Sol; it’s just over a week until I have to report back to TUI HQ in the UK. I’ve had a great time so far and the experience really has been eye-opening, fascinating and unforgettable! It’s also been extremely hard work, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck in with day-to-day life working in resort.
There’s so much I could write about as my RTM, Barbara Dunne, has ensured that I see every little bit of detail in this unique resort. No stone has been left unturned! I’m going to talk a little bit about something I’ve really enjoyed out here though – the excursions!
Before arriving in Spain I knew that the excursion programme for the Costa del Sol really was quite incredible. What I didn’t appreciate however, was the work required to ensure that this programme is kept up and running, fresh, profitable and most importantly, enjoyable for our customers. Seeing them in action has enabled me to appreciate what is actually needed to carry on offering this essential part of our business. I’ve been lucky enough to sample a number of excursions so far, from brushing shoulders with the rich and famous in Marbella, exploring the WWII tunnels inside the rock of Gibraltar, experiencing the sights and smells of Morocco, taking in the brilliance of the Alhambra Palace and discovering the history of Ronda (amongst others!).
This area is unique because of the sheer amount of repeat customers who come back here year after year. I met a couple who had been holidaying in the Costa del Sol back to back for 37 years. Such is the appeal of this piece of lovely coast, our customers want to return again and again. As great as this is, it proves difficult to continue hitting targets on our excursion programme. Most of our customers have already done everything here and instead of exploring, they would much prefer relaxing by the pool and taking in the great weather. Trying to come up with brand new, fresh excursions for our customers is not easy and I’ve sat in a number of meetings here where the team have attempted to revise and update the excursions on offer so that our customers can expect something new and exciting each year – a very difficult task!
As well as this, it has been really interesting seeing how much detail is required to plan and implement each and every excursion. From working with coach providers, ticket sellers, local restaurants and even border crossing guards, all of our excursions require precise organisation to make them as hassle free and enjoyable for our customers. Not only this, but having to work with other TUI source markets in combined excursions isn’t as easy as it sounds. Pick up times, different languages and other unforeseen events means that problems can always crop up from time to time. Holiday advisors and guides alike have to therefore prepare for any situation that could potentially arise.
By taking part in our excursion programme first hand, I’ve had a unique opportunity to see where any improvements can be made. I’ve been able to talk to customers about their excursion experiences and have been able to understand what is required to make our programme even better than it already is.
I could carry on for hours talking about what I’ve found out, but right now I need to go to Malaga airport and wave goodbye to our customers saying adios to Spain.
Hasta Luego for now!