In the second of a four-part series of travel agent profiles, Travel Daily finds out how Honeymoon Dreams’ impressive website scored the company a gig on Ant and Dec’s popular Saturday Night Takeaway show
Name: Lakh Hayer
Title: Founder and Director
Agency: Honeymoon Dreams – member of The Global Travel Group
Industry experience: More thaqn 25 years
What we do now: Our area of expertise is to create tailor-made honeymoon packages for newlyweds looking for the ultimate luxury honeymoon. Our services also include booking excursions, upgrades, honeymoon benefits and a gift list service.
Our success story: Back in 2003, I started working at Airport Travel, a flight only service, which is managed and owned by my parents. Whilst working there I started to conjure up ideas for my own company, and in 2009 Honeymoon Dreams was founded.
A one-page website was built for Honeymoon Dreams, which became the foundation of my online business. During the months of January, February and March of 2009 I began to market the brand by taking a stall at wedding shows to hand out promotional flyers.
At the end of 2009 we opened a store in Edgbaston called Pure Destinations, the decision to call the store Pure Destinations instead of Honeymoon Dreams was to welcome an array of customers looking to travel. While Honeymoon Dreams remained online, staff work from the store for both brands. My initial idea was to push both brands from the store; Honeymoon Dreams was marketed online while Pure Destinations was locally targeted.
In 2013 I decided it was time to put together a small marketing team to further both brands, since then I have seen a remarkable improvement in enquiries and an increase in traffic on both websites year after year. Having a marketing team has added a great deal of value to both brands by constantly finding new ways to reach out to potential customers. The team at The Global Travel group have also been in hugely helpful thanks to their bespoke marketing support and ongoing training updates.
In November 2014 Honeymoon Dreams officially moved into an office-only environment. It wasn’t until summer of 2014 where both brands were completely separate and Pure Destinations became a Kuoni Partner deal, which elevated our sales and recognition. In March 2015 we then re-launched our Pure Destinations store, becoming a Pure Destinations Kuoni Partner Store. This was celebrated with a launch party where we invited our loyal customers and suppliers.
Honeymoon Dreams has grown from just a few employees in 2010 to a team of 15 staff, while Pure Destinations has three full time members of staff working in store.
Back in March of this year, Honeymoon Dreams revealed its brand new website, featuring new tools and functionalities to meet the interest and needs of our growing clientele. One of our most popular tools since our website launch is the ‘create your honeymoon’ multi-centre feature. This tool allows users to select numerous destinations that can be matched together in one round trip. From many of our enquiries we can see that this tool is popular, allowing the user to play around with the idea of which places they can match together before they take the next step in contacting us.
Within just a month of our new website going live, we were contacted by ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway hosted by Ant and Dec. They were impressed with our website and wanted us to help them with a never-been-done before live wedding on the show. Our part in this was to gift a honeymoon for the newlyweds, which saw them fly to the Maldives in May. During the live show, our unique visitors soared and this continued throughout the week, which also saw a massive increase in enquires. We made sure to feature the wedding and honeymoon on our blog. This had a very positive impact on our website, which was promoted through our email marketing and social media; this was a great moment for us as it got people talking about our brand.
What’s next? Since the re-launch of our website, we hope to see Honeymoon Dreams continue to increase in staff, to meet the demands of our clients. I want to focus some attention on developing the Weddings by Honeymoon Dreams brand, which will work harmoniously with Honeymoon Dreams. Having my own Honeymoon Dreams store would be a wonderful achievement to see in the near future also. With Pure Destinations, I aim to open another store in the West Midlands and continuing to build our smaller specialist websites that we have.