Strictly Business: Select World Travel's Hannah Vincent

I got into travel… after studying travel and tourism at college. I was offered a job during my work experience at a local travel agency.

I joined Select World Travel… in February 2011 as a senior travel consultant and after six years was promoted to managing director. Our founder chairman, Kent Milne, and I started to discuss a management buyout, which completed in January 2020 – just before Covid hit!

I have grown the business… through a range of channels. One of the first things I created was the Honeymoon Gift Service, which increased our honeymoon business by 70%. We have continued to offer this service and find it leads to the wedding couple booking family holidays, as well as gaining referrals from getting our name out there with their wedding guests. Back in 2014, I also started hosting an annual travel show for our clients, which has been elevated in recent years.

This not only keeps clients inspired and engaged, but also strengthens our relationships with our preferred tour operators, cruise lines and hotel representation companies. Since lockdown, social media presence is even more important. I really enjoy curating blogs for our YouTube channel and reels on Instagram and find this generates extra business.

The area of the business growing the most is… luxury cruising. We have always had good cruise business, but it has noticeably increased in the past two years.

The suppliers I have the strongest relationship with include… Kirker, Classic Collection, SeaDream, Silversea and Oceania, to name a few. However, my strongest would be Lusso. I find them so easy to deal with and have a great rapport with all the team – they really look after us. They also helped me fulfil my biggest-ever booking, worth £535,000.

My proudest career achievement is… winning Luxury Independent Agency of the Year – High Street at the Aspire Awards last year. I was, and still am, very proud to win this accolade. It’s very special to get industry recognition.

My biggest industry bugbear is… airline schedule changes, which then lead to clients’ seat selections being removed without any notification. I feel like I am constantly checking whether seats are still reserved as they should be, because this is so important to many clients, especially when they have paid [a lot] for them.

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