News

JustSplit.com – Your Local Travel Agent

JustSplit.com – Your Local Travel Agent

“Airlines have taken away staff concessions and many travel agency staff have never experienced Business Class (never mind First Class) or airport lounges, and salaries are not high, so these are making the travel industry unattractive as a career,” said Jim Vaughan, Managing Director, JustSplit.com, in an interview with Neil Steedman, ITTN’s News & Features Editor.

JustSplit.com, the 2015 ITTN Travel Agency of the Year winner in the Leinster Region, was started by Jim Vaughan in 2005 and now has five branches – in Rathfarnham, Kilnamanagh, Ballyfermot, Portlaoise and Limerick.

Rathfarnham branch interior

Rathfarnham branch interior

“After 17 years of management accounting in Ryan Hotels, and completing an MBA in Travel Management, I joined Abbey Travel as Managing Director in 1996, where I had nine years of the Celtic Tiger and rapid growth, including long-haul business. However, for a long time I had had the idea of owning my own business and I acquired Farnham Travel in Rathfarnham when Pat Larkin retired in 2005.

“I had seen the move away from traditional travel agencies and developed a newer, fresher branding concept using the JustSplit name and young, vibrant, energetic colours combined with online development. Previous customers came back in droves – and so I knew that we couldn’t get away from face-to-face client relationships!

Limerick branch...

Limerick branch…

Limerick Branch Interior

“After the recession started, Executive Travel decided to close its leisure branch in Limerick so I acquired that and re-opened with the same team of staff. It was then that I introduced JustSplit’s ‘Your Local Travel Agent’ slogan, aiming to target the local and regional markets with regard to clients, but centralising for suppliers, etc.

Ballyfermot branch...

Ballyfermot branch…

Ballyfermot Branch Interior

“Similarly, Gold Travel in Ballyfermot became a JustSplit branch when Nick Durham wanted to retire, as did Kilnamanagh when Sunway decided to close its branches, and, two years ago, Airborne Travel in Portlaoise when Tony Fitzpatrick retired.

Kilnamanagh branch...

Kilnamanagh branch…

Kilnamanagh Branch Interior

“We now have 17 staff between the five branches, we have tended to retain staff, and we believe in continuous training and development. Without our great staff we could not have got through the recession, the worst in my career, when customers were looking for the lowest cost on everything. We are only coming out of the recession, with a good year this year – and now we are hit with Brexit!

“I have been teaching in colleges and many students are motivated by a desire to travel, but airlines have taken away staff concessions, nowadays many travel agency staff have never experienced Business Class (never mind First Class) or airport lounges, and travel agency salaries are not high, so these are making the travel industry unattractive as a career.

“I was an ITAA Board member for several years and President through 2008 and 2009, before handing over to Pat Dawson in early 2010. During my term of office I tried to get the Regulations reformed, but didn’t achieve it – despite a major consultation process with travel agents and the industry, our proposals were rejected by the Commission and the Government. Airlines and bed banks are still not bonded and this is still a consideration for the Commission, particularly in light of recent events.

Portlaoise branch...

Portlaoise branch…

Portlaoise Branch Interior

“Today’s clients want the whole package for the convenience, as they are inundated and overwhelmed by the range of options on the Internet. Conversely, technology has been a huge benefit to travel agents, giving them access to a much greater range of products to offer and package.

“The typical customer enquiry may start with price, but that’s not really what they want, it’s the best value. The worst, which thankfully rarely happens, is when a client insists on booking a product that we know for certain is wrong for them.

“About 80% of our customers are walk-in, and the majority are repeat clients, which emphasises the importance of having high-quality front-line staff, and there will always be a need for a locally based bricks&mortar service.

“Our slogan ‘Your Local Travel Agent’ works well for us. We tailor our POS and advertising to each local branch – and this year we have been using a 2015 ITTN Leinster Travel Agency of the Year Award Leinster Region logo prominently on all our promotional literature.”

Summer Holidays

Active Retirement Holidays

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

More in News

1-IMG_2915

Aer Lingus to Launch Dublin-Miami on 1st September

Michael FloodJuly 25, 2017
WH Veranda Suite-XL

Silverseas luxury seven day cruise in Northern Europe

Michael FloodJuly 25, 2017
Travel Deals

Great Value Travel Deals – 25th July 2017

Sarah SlatteryJuly 24, 2017
london gaa launch 13

CityJet becomes the Official Airline of London GAA

Michael FloodJuly 24, 2017
Repro Free: Thursday 21st July, Dublin Airport:
Aer Lingus welcomed a piece of Irish aviation history into its hangar at Dublin airport today as it received a Douglas DC-3 aircraft hailing from the 1940s and 50s and freshly painted in the Aer Lingus livery of that era. The DC-3 was the fifth aircraft type to be operated by Aer Lingus in 1940 and at that time was part of a fleet of just 5, while today’s fleet now stands at 63 aircraft operating more than 100 routes to UK, Europe and North America. The DC-3 aircraft will feature in Bray Air Display and Foynes Air Show this weekend. Pictured are Aer Lingus cabin crew Sarah Jane Bennett and Christina Foley wearing the airline’s 1940s uniform together. Picture Jason Clarke

Aer Lingus gets nostalgic about the DC 3

Michael FloodJuly 24, 2017
CAR Website

CAR Issues New Travel Agents Licence

Neil SteedmanJuly 24, 2017
Relax in tropical splendor on the deserted barrier island beaches surrounding Marco Island.

Naples on Florida’s Paradise Coast a Must Visit Destination

Michael FloodJuly 23, 2017
Travelport Drive Me

Booking a Car Transfer Made Easy with Travelport Drive Me

Neil SteedmanJuly 23, 2017
IMG_0822

AirWaves from Royal Caribbean/Celebrity Cruises/Azamara Club Cruises

Michael FloodJuly 20, 2017

Copyright © 2016 Belgrave Group Limited, C4 Nutgrove Office Park, Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, Ireland